EIASE is a joint agreement which strives to service educational needs of all children with disabilities, ages 3 through 21, who reside in the 28 school districts within the following eight counties: Clark, Coles, Cumberland, Douglas, Edgar, Effingham, Moultrie, and Shelby. The central special education office is located at the Loxa Building on Park Drive between Charleston and Mattoon Illinois. More than 600 special education personnel work throughout the joint agreement and more than 4,000 exceptional children are served. Funding is supplied by local, state and federal monies.
EIASE was founded in 1962 and is now the largest geographic special education unit in Illinois, encompassing approximately 4,000 square miles. It ranks third out of 65 in the total number of children with disabilities served. It ranks sixth for the number of preschool children who receive daily services. Over 17% of the 29,000+ students within EIASE's boundaries receive specialized service from trained special education professionals.
The mission of EIASE is to provide a service of instruction, diagnostics, therapeutics, and technical support to it's member districts' children with disabilities, faculty, parents, administration, and community. Therefore, EIASE is a service agency operating under the aegis of it's member districts to assist them in giving each child with a disability an opportunity to obtain an education designed to satisfy his/her own needs as well as the demands of the society in which he/she lives.
Service has become the hallmark of EIASE. The early developers of EIASE realized that each of the local school districts in the area were too small to provide a comprehensive program for students with disabilities. They knew that they could profit from joining forces with other districts. However, they also realized the importance of maintaining "local control" within their communities. With this strong sense of "community" came the fact that each district had to be treated in a "fair and equitable manner." Every district, small or large, had to be treated the same and the instructional, diagnostic, and therapeutic services had to be delivered on a fair and equitable basis. They knew they had to develop a delivery system that was sensitive to the needs of our rural communities and values while still serving the special needs of all the children in the area. The model developed by EIASE meets those objectives.