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Access to the General Education Curriculum

February 2022

Providing access to the general education curriculum (GEC) is required by law for all students with disabilities. This page includes resources for state deaf-blind projects to learn about this important topic and what they can do to help families and educators provide access to the GEC for students who are deaf-blind.

Articles and Documents

PDF DocumentUnderstanding Access to the General Education CurriculumPDF Document|746.3 KB

This article provides foundational information about access to the GEC. It specifically focuses on academic content standards and academic achievement standards, and how they inform instructional planning.

Academic Standards and Assessments by State 
This table lists academic content standards, general grade-level assessments, alternate assessments, and access/entry points for each state.

OSERS Policy Guidance on Free Appropriate Public Education
A key policy letter from OSEP, dated November 16, 2015, written to clarify that an individualized education program (IEP) for an eligible child with a disability under IDEA must be aligned with a state’s academic content standards for the grade in which the child is enrolled.

Standards-Based Individualized Education programs (IEPs) for Students who Participate in AA-AAS (NCSC Brief #5)
This article from the National Center and State Collaborative (NCSC) by Diane Browder provides guidance and examples on how to create IEPs aligned with the academic content standards for a student’s grade level.

Equity and Inclusion: Ensuring Meaningful Participation in General Education (see p. 8)
This article by Julie Maier, California Deafblind Services Project Coordinator, focuses on processes and practices to increase equitable access and inclusive opportunities for students who participate in alternative state assessments.



Introduction to Accessing the Grade Level General Education Curriculum

This webinar, held March 2, 2022, provided foundational information for state deaf-blind project personnel on how to conduct technical assistance related to accessing the general education curriculum. Topics included legal requirements, linking instruction to academic content standards, and working with educational teams.


  • Sam Morgan, Director, NCDB
  • Susan Weigert, Project Officer, U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs
  • Tracy Evans Luiselli, Project Director, New England Consortium on Deafblindness


Transcript (TXT)

PowerPoint Slides: Introduction (Sam Morgan) and A State Level Example of Entry Points and Access Skills (Tracy Evans Luiselli)

PowerPoint Slides: Access to the General Education Curriculum for Students with Deaf-Blindness (Susan Weigert)


Putting in into Practice: Examples from the TA Network on Accessing the GEC

This webinar, held March 9, 2022, allowed state deaf-blind projects to share examples of how they are providing TA to support educational teams to meaningfully address the GEC. 


  • Katy Ring, Project Coordinator, Iowa Deafblind Services Project
  • Julie Maier, Project Coordinator, California Deafblind Services
  • Kayla Coburn, Educational Specialist, California Deafblind Services
  • Chevonne Sutter, Project Coordinator, Nevada Dual Sensory Impairment Project
  • Juanita Rodriguez, Project Coordinator, Puerto Rico Deaf-Blind Project


Transcript (TXT)

PowerPoint Slides: Putting in into Practice: Examples from the TA Network on Accessing the GEC