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TIES Center is the national technical assistance center on inclusive practices and policies. It works with states, districts, and schools to support the movement of students from less inclusive to more inclusive environments.

TIES stands for Increasing (T)ime, (I)nstructional Effectiveness, (E)ngagement, and State (S)upport for Inclusive Practices.

Project goals are to:​​​​​​​

  • Develop professional learning communities in partner state and local education agencies. 
  • Develop coaching models for implementation of resources, inclusive practices, and communicative competence. 
  • Improve the efficiency and effectiveness of existing resources. 
  • Support parents to become partners in the practice of inclusion for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities.
  • Support systems change within the leadership of state and local education agencies for implementation of inclusive practices.

TIES Center focuses its efforts in the following areas:

  • Knowledge Development activities develop a knowledge base on inclusive practices and policies for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities.
  • Technical Assistance activities ensure that states and districts have an understanding of how to successfully implement and sustain inclusive practices. Technical assistance is organized into three tiers:
    • Universal Technical Assistance – Products and services created through the TIES Center work are available to all via the Center and its web site, social media, and conferences.
    • Targeted Technical Assistance – Webinars and peer learning groups (PLGs) are developed and offered to states interested in working on focused topics related to inclusive education.  
    • Intensive Technical Assistance – Over the course of the project, two states will be selected to work closely with TIES personnel to address project goals. Maryland was selected as the first intensive technical assistance state in 2018. There are also two intensive technical assistance districts in Maryland: Carroll County Public Schools and Montgomery County Public Schools. The second intensive technical assistance state will be selected in 2019. Intensive TA states seek to get policies and practices in place that will support the movement of students with the most significant cognitive disabilities to more inclusive settings, as well as provide the supports needed to increase engagement and learning outcomes for these students in those settings. Work involves a state leadership team and working with select districts within each state.


The National Center on Educational Outcomes (NCEO) leads the TIES Center partnership. There are six additional collaborating partners: Arizona Department of Education, CAST, University of Cincinnati, University of Kentucky, University of North-Carolina–Charlotte, and University of North Carolina–Greensboro.