Special Artist Division

 The National PTA Special Artist Division is an option for students with disabilities who receive services under IDEA or Section 504 to have the opportunity and accommodations they may need in order to participate fully in the program. The Special Artist Division offers modified rules and guidelines to ensure that every student has the chance to be part of the National PTA Reflections® program. Who qualifies as a disabled individual under the law? The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) defines an individual with a disability as a person who: (1) Has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities of that person; (2) Has a record of such an impairment; or (3) Is regarded as having such impairment. Student Entry Process: Students who identify as having a disability have two ways to enter the National PTA Reflections® Program.  Option 1. Enter in Traditional Grade Divisions: Qualifying students follow all arts category rules and may not receive assistance other than that which is allowed for all children, but do receive accommodation to submit Reflections entries in the grade division most closely aligned to their functional abilities. They are recognized and awarded prizes as part of the general student population without regard to special needs or challenges. Grade Divisions: Regardless of age, students with special needs may enter the National PTA Reflections® Program in the grade division most closely aligned to their functional abilities. The divisions are as follows: Primary (preschool – grade 2); Intermediate (grades 3-5); Middle School (grades 6-8); High School (grades 9-12).  Option 2. Enter in Special Artist Division: Qualifying students entering this non-graded division create their own artwork, but may receive non-artistic accommodation and assistance from an adult. At the national level, one Special Artist from across all arts categories will be selected to receive an Outstanding Interpretation Award. Up to five additional Special Artists may be selected to receive national Awards of Excellence. Parent or Guardian Signature: If a student’s artwork that is submitted locally is selected to move on to the next level of the National PTA Reflections Program, the student and family will complete and sign a student entry form. A parent or guardian signature will be required for all students entering the program in the Special Artist Division, regardless of the student’s age. Judging Procedure and Awards: At the national level, expert judges in each arts category will judge entries in the Special Artist Division. The division’s top entries from each of the six arts categories will then be reviewed by staff at VSA, a Jean Kennedy Smith Arts and Disability Program, of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. One Special Artist from across all arts categories will be selected to receive an Outstanding Interpretation Award and will be recognized at National PTA’s Annual Convention. Up to six additional Special Artists may be selected to receive national Awards of Excellence.