Special Education District of Lake County
The Special Education District of Lake County, more commonly known as SEDOL, is a special education cooperative organized in 1960 under the provisions of The Illinois School Code. The purpose of the joint agreement is to provide cooperative program planning, instructional programs, related services and professional staff development in order to assure an appropriate education for children with disabilities from birth through age 22, residing within the boundaries of SEDOL’s member school districts. SEDOL’s geographic area covers about 400 square miles within Lake County, Illinois and provides educational programs for approximately 1300 students with moderate to very severe disabilities within its member districts. Additionally, SEDOL annually provides diagnostic services for over 1,200 children and their families. SEDOL employs over 800 staff to serve children with disabilities. Employees are teachers, teacher assistants and a wide variety of support staff including audiologists, nurses, occupational therapists, physical therapists, prevocational coordinators, psychologists, social workers, speech/language pathologists, and numerous other support staff including office and custodial/maintenance staff.
SEDOL’s mission has changed significantly over the years. When the organization was first formed, SEDOL instructional programs were provided for virtually all children with disabilities from its member districts. As a result of the Regular Education Initiative and the emphasis on inclusion programming, SEDOL has progressively moved toward encouraging districts to provide more inclusive programs that are closer to students’ homes and their home school districts. SEDOL continues to support inclusive education environments where appropriate while recognizing the need for a full continuum of educational service options tailored to the unique needs of individual children and their families.