Special Services

Office of Special ServicesColorful hands in a circle with the words Special Education

Phone: (928) 472-5800
Fax: (928) 472-2008

Director of Special Services

Lisa Evans

First School Steps Preschool

(928) 468-2635
Terri Legassie
Tanya BeGell

SPED Data Clerk

Stacey Ernst

Office Technicians

Tamara Hannasch
Laura Pederson
Shari Spence

School Psychologist

Gabrielle Bibars

Speech Providers

Amy Beier, MS/CCC-SLP
Brenda Ortlund, SLT
Vicki Jensen, MS/CCC-SLP
Tracie Osier, SLP-A
Cassidy Kelton, MS

Occupational Therapy Provider

Erica Georges,OT

Physical Therapy Provider

Donna Brooks, DPT

Records Request

Fax: (928) 472-2008

Our district provides Individual Education Plan (IEP) driven programs for high and low incidence disabilities. All district students with vision, hearing, physical or occupational therapy (PT/OT), speech/language needs receive services from fully certified/licensed providers. The district has two licensed school psychologists. All students receive services based on their documented needs and IEP team decisions. Support staff and instructional support personnel are provided as need dictates.


  • Students receive intensive remediation in math and language arts.
  • Students receive behavioral supports in school or alternate settings.
  • Students receive modifications and support in core classes and consultation in electives.
  • Students receive testing adaptations and have access to alternative learning formats as appropriate.
  • Students in vocational programs receive consultation and support as needed.
  • Students in the self contained learning centers receive vocational and social supports as well as their academic program.
  • Therapies are available as needed.

Other Special Programs

Julia Randall is home to the district's special needs preschool, First Steps. Children needing early intervention services from 3 to 5 years of age are serviced here. The program is language and social skill-development based.

Child Find

Child Find Process

Payson Unified School District No. 10, is trying to locate children with disabilities who are not presently receiving special education/vocational education services, or who are receiving services that are inadequate or inappropriate.

These children should be residents of the Payson Unified School District and qualify for placement in special education programs as determined by an individual evaluation. Children who have a mild to moderate intellectual disability, speech-language impairment, hearing impairment, visual impairment or learning disability and who are forced to stay at home because of emotional, physical or mental disabilities may qualify for special education and/or vocational education services with the Payson Unified School District.

Children from birth to five years old who are not eligible for kindergarten and who are suspected of having developmental delays may qualify for early intervention or preschool services through Arizona Early Intervention Program (AzEIP) or the Payson Unified School District’s Special Needs Preschool Program.

Should you know of a child who may need early intervention, special education or vocational services or programs, please contact AzEIP at (602) 532-9960; or Preschool Program Specialist, at (928) 472-5800; or Director of Special Services, at (928) 472-5800; or Vocational Education, at (928) 468-8211.

The Special Services office supports students in home settings through the “Homebound” Program. Children with medical conditions (ie. accidents or surgery) can receive educational support from a Homebound Tutor to help them keep up with their schoolwork when possible. Special Services also facilitates the identification of Gifted students.

Disability Categories

In order to qualify for special education under the regulations that implement the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), a child needs to be a child with a disability, meaning that the child has been evaluated as having a qualifying disability, and by reason, thereof needs special education. [See 34 C.F.R. § 300.8(a)]

The child must have a qualifying disability as defined by the IDEA regulations; The disability must have an adverse effect on the child’s educational performance; and The child must need specially designed instruction in order to access and make progress in the general education curriculum. The disability categories under the IDEA are listed below:
  • Autism (A)
  • Deaf-blindness Deafness Developmental Delay (DD)
  • Emotional Disturbance (ED)
  • Hearing Impairment (HI)
  • Intellectual Disability (MIID, MOID, SID)
  • Multiple Disabilities (MD)
  • Multiple Disabilities w/Severe Sensory Impairment (MDSSI)
  • Orthopedic Impairment (OI)
  • Other Health Impairment (OHI)
  • Preschool Severe Delay (PSD)
  • Specific Learning Disability (SLD)
  • Speech or Language Impairment (SLI)
  • Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
  • Visual Impairment (VI)

ADA 504

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is designed to prohibit discrimination based on disability in any program or activity receiving Federal money. This statute obligates most public schools to provide equal access and equal opportunity to otherwise qualified persons with disabilities. For a student to be eligible for a 504 accommodation plan, the student must meet the following criteria:

A physical or mental impairment (has a history of having a physical or mental impairment), that substantially limits one or more major life activities.

It must be because of this disability that the student is unable to gain equal access and benefit from school programs and services.

If you believe that a student may be eligible for Section 504 support please contact your school principal or the Special Services office.