Frequently Asked Questions
- What is the FICC?
- How long has the FICC existed?
- Does the FICC address issues of coordinated services for all children with disabilities?
- Who is appointed to the
- How are FICC members appointed?
- What are the requirements for
- What are the requirements for non-federal members?
- Who chairs the FICC?
- How often does the FICC meet?
does the FICC do?
- How does the
FICC relate to the state Interagency Coordinating Councils (ICCs)?
- How can you provide feedback to
What is the FICC?
The Federal Interagency
Coordinating Council is an advisory council designed to ensure the effective
coordination of federal early intervention and preschool services and policies
across federal agencies.
How long has the FICC existed?
In 1991, the FICC was formally
established by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Prior to that time, interested program staff
from the Departments of Education and Health and Human Services met informally
under a Memorandum of Understanding to discuss programmatic issues for young
children with disabilities and their families.
Does the FICC address issues of coordinated services for all
children with disabilities?
No, the FICC focuses its activities on young children with or at risk of disabilities, from birth through age 5,
and their families, who receive services under the IDEA.
Who is appointed to the FICC?
The FICC is composed of:
- parents of young children with disabilities
- federal agency representatives
- state lead agencies for early intervention services
- other members representing appropriate agencies that
provide, or pay for, services for infants and toddlers with disabilities and
their families and preschoolers with disabilities
How are FICC members appointed?
The Secretary of Education makes
all appointments to the FICC. The
Secretary consults with the other respective federal agencies for the
appointment of federal members.
On occasion, the Secretary also
solicits recommendations for the other appointments.
What are the requirements for federal members?
Each federal member must have
sufficient authority to engage in policy planning and implementation on behalf
of the department, agency or program they represent.
What are the requirements for non-federal members?
Each non-federal FICC member is
appointed to represent an agency or specific constituency group. Members are asked to act as a liaison
between their respective constituency groups and the FICC. They are also asked to bring issues and
concerns from their constituency groups to the FICC and report back to them on
the activities of the FICC.
Parent members typically represent
the interest of parents of young children with or at risk of disabilities in
general, not those of a specific subgroup.
Parent members work with parent groups and others to ensure that the
FICC is aware of the issues raised from the parent perspective as well.
Who chairs the FICC?
The Secretary of Education appoints
the chairperson of the FICC in consultation with other appropriate federal
agencies. Traditionally, the Secretary
has appointed the Assistant Secretary for the Office of Special Education and
Rehabilitative Services as chair of the FICC.
The FICC bylaws allow for the FICC
to recommend to the Secretary the appointment of a parent FICC member to serve
as the FICC co-chair.
How often does the FICC meet?
The FICC meets at least
quarterly. All meetings are open to the
public and are held in accessible facilities.
Traditionally, the meetings have been held in Washington, DC.
Accommodations for persons with
specific communication needs are provided (i.e., sign language interpreters).
What does the FICC do?
A primary responsibility of the
FICC is to provide advice and assistance to the secretaries of Education, Health
and Human Services, Defense, Interior, Agriculture and the Commissioner of the
Social Security Administration on matters related to serving children from
birth through age 5 who are eligible for services under IDEA.
FICC conducts policy analyses of
federal programs serving this group of children to determine areas of conflict,
overlap, duplication, or inappropriate omission.
In addition, the FICC identifies
barriers to federal interagency cooperation related to this age group of
How does the FICC relate to the state Interagency
Coordinating Councils (ICCs)?
There is great value to
communication and information sharing between the state interagency
coordinating councils and the FICC.
Although the statute does not establish a specific relationship between the FICC
and the state ICCs, in the past, one of the ICC chairs has typically been
appointed to serve on the FICC. The
participation of an ICC chair on the FICC provides additional opportunities to
identify successful practices in the field of early childhood services, as well
as challenges to implementation of coordinated services across multiple
How can you provide feedback to us?
If you have comments about the
content of the FICC website, please contact the Executive Director. Let us know what content on this site (or
links) is helpful or what additional content you think would be useful. Also, let us know what information is
duplicative or not helpful.
This page last modified on 6-25-2002 (sye)