FACTOID # 19: Cheap sloppy joes: Looking for reduced-price lunches for schoolchildren? Head for Oklahoma!
 Home   Encyclopedia   Statistics   States A-Z   Flags   Maps   FAQ   About 


FACTS & STATISTICS    Advanced view

Search encyclopedia, statistics and forums:



(* = Graphable)



Encyclopedia > Individuals with Disabilities Education Act

Accuracy dispute Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ...

This article or section is currently being developed or reviewed.
Some statements may be disputed, incorrect, unverified, biased or otherwise objectionable. Please read the discussion on the talk page before making substantial changes.
The neutrality of this article is disputed.
Please see the discussion on the talk page.
Please do not remove this message until the dispute is resolved.


The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is a United States federal law that governs how states and public agences provide early intervention, special education, and related services to children with disabilities. It addresses the educational needs of children with disabilities from birth to the age of 21. [1] Image File history File links Unbalanced_scales. ... Shortcut: WP:NPOVD Articles that have been linked to this page are the subject of an NPOV dispute (NPOV stands for Neutral Point Of View; see below). ... The United States Code (U.S.C.) is a compilation and codification of the general and permanent federal Law of the United States. ... Special education is instruction that is modified or particularized for those students with special needs, such as learning differences, mental health problems, specific disabilities (physical or developmental) [1] , and giftedness [2]. // Children with special needs have always been part of society. ...

The IDEA is considered to be a civil rights law. However, states are not required to participate. As an incentive and to assist states in complying with its requirements, IDEA makes funds available to states that adopt at least the minimum policies and procedures specified in the IDEA regarding the education of children with disabilities.

In defining the purpose of special education, IDEA 2004 clarifies Congress’ intended outcome for each child with a disability: students must be provided a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) that prepares them for further education, employment and independent living. [2] Free, Appropriate, Public Education (FAPE) is a right of disabled children in the United States. ...

Formerly known as the Education for All Handicapped Children Act, the IDEA was most recently amended in 2004.


Before the EHA statute was enacted in 1975, U.S. public schools educated only 1 out of 5 children with disabilities. Many states had laws that explicitly excluded children with certain types of disabilities from attending public school, including children who were blind, deaf, and children labeled "emotionally disturbed" or "mentally retarded." At the time the EHA was enacted, more than 1 million children in the U.S. had no access to the public school system. [3] Many of these children lived at state institutions where they received limited or no educational or rehabilitation services. [4] Another 3.5 million children attended school but were “warehoused” in segregated facilities and received little or no effective instruction. [5]

As of 2006, more than 6 million children in the U.S. receive special education services through IDEA. [6]

Provisions of IDEA

Eligibility for services

Having a disability does not automatically qualify a student for special education services under the IDEA; the student is eligible for services only if the disability adversely affects the student's educational progress and performance. IDEA defines "child with a disability" as a child . . . with mental retardation, hearing impairments (including deafness), speech or language impairments, visual impairments (including blindness), serious emotional disturbance . . ., orthopedic impairments, autism, traumatic brain injury, other health impairments, or specific learning disabilities ; AND, who . . . [because of the condition] needs special education and related services. [7]. Children with disabilities who do not qualify for special education may qualify for accommodations or modifications under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 or under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Students covered by Section 504 do not qualify for special education or related services, nor are they protected by due process procedures. [citation needed] Mental retardation is a term for a pattern of persistently slow learning of basic motor and language skills (milestones) during childhood, and a significantly below-normal global intellectual capacity as an adult. ... A hearing impairment or hearing loss is a full or partial decrease in the ability to detect or understand sounds. ... Visual impairment is the functional loss of vision. ... In U.S. healthcare, SED is an acronym for serious emotional disturbance. ... Autism is a brain development disorder characterized by impairments in social interaction and communication, and restricted and repetitive behavior, all exhibited before a child is three years old. ... Traumatic brain injury (TBI), traumatic injuries to the brain, also called intracranial injury, or simply head injury, occurs when a sudden trauma causes brain damage. ... Section 504 of the 1973 Rehabilitation Act or, more formally, the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Pub. ... The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 is the short title of United States Public Law 101-336, signed into law on July 26, 1990 by George H. W. Bush. ...

Individualized Education Program

For more details on this topic, see Individualized Education Program.

The act requires that public schools create an Individualized Education Program (IEP) for each student who is found to be eligible under the both the federal and state eligibility/disability standards. The IEP is the cornerstone of a student's educational program. It specifies the services to be provided and how often, describes the student's present levels of performance and how the student's disabilities affect academic performance, and specifies accommodations and modifications to be provided for the student. [8] In the USA, an Individualized Education Program, commonly referred to as an Individual Education Plan, (IEP) is a mandated requirement of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). ... The term public school has two contrary meanings: In England, one of a small number of prestigious historic schools open to the public which normally charge fees and are financed by bodies other than the state, commonly as private charitable trusts; here the word public is used much as in... In the USA, an Individualized Education Program, commonly referred to as an Individual Education Plan, (IEP) is a mandated requirement of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). ...

An IEP must be designed to meet the unique educational needs of that one child in the Least Restrictive Environment appropriate to the needs of that child. That is, the least restrictive environment in which the child learns. When a child qualifies for services, an IEP team is convened to design an education plan. In addition to the child’s parents, the IEP team must include at least one of the child’s regular education teachers, a special education teacher, someone who can interpret the educational implications of the child’s evaluation, such as a school psychologist, and an administrator who has knowledge of the availability of services in the district and the authority to commit those services on behalf of the child. Parents are considered to be equal members of the IEP team along with the school staff. Based on the full educational evaluation results, this team collaborates to write an IEP for for the individual child, one that will provide a free, appropriate public education. The required content of an IEP is described in Individualized Education Program. As part of the U.S. Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, the least restrictive environment is identified as one of the six principles that govern the education of students with disabilities. ... In the USA, an Individualized Education Program, commonly referred to as an Individual Education Plan, (IEP) is a mandated requirement of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). ...

Related services

The IDEA defines related services includes but is not limited to: transportation and such developmental, corrective, and other supportive services as are required to assist a child with a disability to benefit from special education, and includes speech-language pathology and audiology services, psychological services, physical and occupational therapy, recreation, including therapeutic recreation, early identification and assessment of disabilities in children, counseling services, including rehabilitation counseling, orientation and mobility services, and medical services for diagnostic or evaluation purposes. The term also includes school health services, social work services in schools, and parent counseling and training. [9]

Free Appropriate Public Education

For more details on this topic, see Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE).

Guaranteed by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), FAPE is defined as an educational program that is individualized to a specific child, designed to meet that child's unique needs, and from which the child receives educational benefit. To provide FAPE, schools must provide students with an “… education that emphasizes special education and related services designed to meet their unique needs and prepare them for further education, employment, and independent living.” [10] Some of the criteria specified in various sections of the IDEA statute includes requirements that schools provide each disabled student an education that: Free, Appropriate, Public Education (FAPE) is a right of disabled children in the United States. ...

  • Is designed to meet the unique needs of that one student
  • Provides “ …access to the general curriculum to meet the challenging expectations established for all children” (that is, it meets the approximate grade-level standards of the state educational agency)
  • Is provided in accordance with the Individualized Education Plan (IEP) as defined in 1414(d)(3). [11]
  • Results in educational benefit to the child. [12]

Least Restrictive Environment

For more details on this topic, see Least Restrictive Environment.

The U.S. Dept. Education, 2005a regulations implementing IDEA states: "...to the maximum extent appropriate, children with disabilities including children in public or private institutions or care facilities, are educated with children who are nondisabled; and special classes, separate schooling or other removal of children with disabilities from regular educational environment occurs only if the nature or severity of the disability is such that education in regular classes with the use of supplementary aids and services cannot be achieved satisfactorily." Simply put, the LRE is the environment most like that of typical children in which the child with a disability can succeed. This refers not only to the physical location of a child's learning, but also to how the child will be taught. [citation needed] Congress states a clear preference that the child be included in regular education activities as much as possible. However, some disabilities may prohibit this option. In some respects, the type of placement is associated with the severity and type of the disability. Schools are required to have in place a continuum of possible placements, which may include mainstreaming programs, sometimes called inclusion, in which disabled students participate fully in general education classes using only supplementary aids and supports; collaborative classrooms in which a general education and special education teacher share responsibility for instruction; itinerant specialists serving general classrooms in several schools; pull-out programs in which the child leaves the regular classroom and receives specialized instruction or related services elsewhere, for example, speech therapy; self-contained special education classes attended most or all of the day; and special education facilities (including placement in day schools, hospitals, at home, or in full time residential facilities) for children with a particularly severe disability. [citation needed] As part of the U.S. Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, the least restrictive environment is identified as one of the six principles that govern the education of students with disabilities. ...

Discipline of a child with a disability

Pursuant to IDEA, discipline of a child with a disability must take that disability into account. For example, if a child with Asperger syndrome is sensitive to loud noises, and if the child runs out of a room filled with loud noises, any discipline of that child for running out of the room must take into account the sensitivity and whether appropriate accommodations were in place. According to the United States Department of Education, for children with disabilities who have been suspended for 10 days total for each school year, including partial days, the local education agency (LEA) must hold a manifestation determination hearing within 10 school days of any decision to change the placement of a child with a disability because of a violation of a code of student conduct. The LEA, the parent, and relevant members of the individualized education program (IEP) team (as determined by the parent and LEA) shall review all relevant information in the student's file, including the child's IEP, any teacher observations, and any relevant information provided by the parents to determine if the conduct in question was: Asperger syndrome (also referred to as Aspergers syndrome, Aspergers disorder, Aspergers, or AS) is one of five neurobiological pervasive developmental disorders (PDD), and is characterized by deficiencies in social and communication skills, normal to above normal intelligence,[1] and standard language development. ... The Lyndon Baines Johnson Department of Education Building[1]) , ED headquarters in Washington, DC A construction project to repair and update the building facade at the Department of Education Headquarters building in 2002 resulted in the installation of structures at all of the entrances to protect employees and visitors from...

  • Caused by, or had a direct and substantial relationship to, the child's disability; or
  • The direct result of the LEA's failure to implement the IEP.

If the LEA, the parent, and relevant members of the IEP team make the determination that the conduct was a manifestation of the child’s disability, the IEP team shall:

  • Conduct a functional behavioral assessment and implement a behavioral intervention plan for such child, provided that the LEA had not conducted such assessment prior to such determination before the behavior that resulted in a change in placement described in Section 615(k)(1)(C) or (G);
  • In the situation where a behavioral intervention plan has been developed, review the behavioral intervention plan if the child already has such a behavioral intervention plan, and modify it, as necessary, to address the behavior; and
  • Except as provided in Section 615(k)(1)(G), return the child to the placement from which the child was removed, unless the parent and the LEA agree to a change of placement as part of the modification of the behavior intervention plan.

Child Find

Public school districts are responsible for identifying all students with disabilities within their districts, regardless of whether they are attending public schools, since private institutions may not be funded for providing accommodations under IDEA.

Procedural Safeguards

IDEA includes a set of procedural safeguards designed to protect the rights of children with disabilities and their families, and to ensure that children with disabilities receive a FAPE. The procedural safeguards include the opportunity for parents to review their child's full educational records; full parent participation in identification and IEP team meetings; parent involvement in placement decisions; Prior Written Notice; the right of parents to request independent educational evaluations at public expense;; Notice of Procedural Safeguards;; Resolution Process; and objective mediation funded by the state education agency and impartial Due Process Hearings.[13] IDEA guarantees the following rights to parents:

  • Right to review all educational records
  • To be equal partners on the IEP team, along with the school staff
  • To participate in all aspects of planning their child’s education
  • To file complaints with the state education agency
  • Request mediation, or a due process hearing

Early Intervention

Part C of the IDEA requires that infants and toddlers with disabilities receive early intervention services from birth through age 2. These services are provided according to an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP. In contrast, Part B of the IDEA requires that children with disabilities, from age 3 to 21, are provided a free approprite public educChester51 15:40, 24 July 2007 (UTC)ation.

Department of Education Regulations

In addition to the Federal law, the U.S. Department of Education publishes regulations that clarifies what the law means. States may add more provisions to further regulate how schools provide services, but they cannot reverse any provision specifically included in the federal statute.

Alignment with No Child Left Behind

The reauthorization of IDEA in 2004 revised the statute to align with the requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act.

Criticisms of IDEA

  • Excessive procedures and paperwork requires teacher time that would be better spent teaching
  • School staff often state beliefs that IDEA protects children and parents but not districts, schools and teachers
  • Parents criticize schools for not following laws in designing and implementing education plans
  • Ineffective compliance monitoring by SEAs
  • Impartial Due Process hearing officers not impartial
  • Districts spend thousands of dollars fighting against parents who want services for their children rather than providing the services, which are often much less expensive than the attorney's fees
  • Schools and districts may retaliate against families who advocate for their children, sometimes retaliating against the children themselves
  • Providing mandated educational and related services too expensive and reduces schools' ability to educate regular education students [14]
  • Schools label children as "learning disabled" and place them in special education even if the child does not have a learning disability, because the schools have failed to teach the childre basic skills. [15]
  • Unfunded mandate. When passed, federal government was supposed to pay for 40% of the cost of educating students with disabilities. However, Congress has yet to provide all of this 40%. As of 2007, the federal government pays for about 12% of special education costs. [citation needed]
  • Overidentification of minorities. Overidentified in learning disabilities, MR, etc.

Legislative History

1975 — The Education for All Handicapped Children Act (EAHCA) became law. It was renamed the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) in 1990.

1990— IDEA first came into being on October 30, 1990 when the "Education of All Handicapped Children Act" (itself having been introduced in 1975) was renamed "Individuals with Disabilities Education Act." (Pub. L. No. 101-476, 104 Stat. 1142). IDEA received minor amendments in October 1991 (Pub. L. No. 102-119, 105 Stat. 587).

1997— IDEA received significant amendments. The definition of disabled children expanded to include developmentally delayed children between three and nine years of age. It also required parents to attempt to resolve disputes with schools and Local Educational Agencies (LEAs) through mediation, and provided a process for doing so. The amendments authorized additional grants for technology, disabled infants and toddlers, parent tranining, and professional development. (Pub. L. No. 105-17, 111 Stat. 37). For statistical mediation, see Mediation (Statistics). ...

2004— On December 3, 2004, IDEA was amended by the Individuals With Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 now known as IDEIA. Several provisions aligned IDEA with the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. It authorized fifteen states to implement 3-year IEPs on a trial basis. More concrete provisions relating to discipline of special education students was also added. (Pub. L. No. 108-446, 118 Stat. 2647). is the 337th day of the year (338th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2004 (MMIV) was a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... President Bush signing the bipartisan No Child Left Behind Act at Hamilton H.S. in Hamilton, Ohio. ...

Supreme Court Decisions

Schaffer v. Weast

On November 14, 2005, the Supreme Court held in Schaffer v. Weast, 126 S.Ct. 528, that moving parties in a placement challenge hold the burden of persuasion. While this is an accord with the usual legal thinking, the moving party is almost always the parents of a child. is the 318th day of the year (319th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday (link displays full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... The supreme court functions as a court of last resort whose rulings cannot be challenged, in some countries, provinces and states. ...

Arlington v. Murphy

On June 26, 2006 the Supreme Court held in Arlington v. Murphy, 126 S.Ct. 2455, that prevailing parents may not recover expert witness fees as part of the costs under 20 U.S.C.§ 1415(i)(3)(B). is the 177th day of the year (178th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


  1. ^ 20 U.S.C. § 1400 et seq.
  2. ^ 20 U.S.C. 1400
  3. ^ Back to School on Civil Rights: Advancing the Federal Commitment to Leave No Child Behind," a report published by the National Council on Disability on January 25, 2000.
  4. ^ Schiller, Ellen, Fran O’Reilly, Tom Fiore, Marking the Progress of IDEA Implementation, published by the Office of Special Education Programs. URL: http://nclid.unco.edu/Resources/IDEA_Progress.pdf , Retrieved June 26, 2007.
  5. ^ Back to School on Civil Rights: Advancing the Federal Commitment to Leave No Child Behind," a report published by the National Council on Disability on January 25, 2000.
  6. ^ IDEA Parent Guide, National Center for Learning Disabilities, April 2006. URL: http://www.ncld.org/images/stories/downloads/parent_center/idea2004parentguide.pdf, Retrieved June 16, 2007.
  7. ^ 20 U.S.C. § 1401(3)(A)
  8. ^ http://www.nhedlaw.com/special%20education%20and%20standards.doc |Johnson, Scott F. Esq. Special Education & Educational Standards. NHEdLaw, LLC. Retrieved July 1, 2007.
  9. ^ 20 U.S.C. § 1401(26)(A)
  10. ^ 20 U.S.C. §1400(c)(5)(A)(i)
  11. ^ 20 U.S.C. §1401(9)
  12. ^ 20 U.S.C. §1401(9)
  13. ^ IDEA 2004 Regulations: Subpart E - Procedural Safeguards, http://www.wrightslaw.com/idea/law/idea.regs.subparte.pdf, retrieved June 23, 2007
  14. ^ A bad IDEA.(Individuals with Disabilities Education Act), Washington Monthly, May 1996. http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G1-18285109.html Retrieved June 26, 2007.
  15. ^ Snell, Lisa. Special education confidential: how schools use the "learning disability" label to cover up their failures, Reason, December 1, 2002. http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-94775375.html. Retrieved June 26, 2007.

Title 20 of the United States Code outlines the role of education in the United States Code. ...

See also

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) is Title 34 United States Code and part 99 of the United States Code of Federal Regulations. ... Free, Appropriate, Public Education (FAPE) is a right of disabled children in the United States. ... In the USA, an Individualized Education Program, commonly referred to as an Individual Education Plan, (IEP) is a mandated requirement of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). ... In the United States and Canada, the term learning disability (LD) is used to refer to a range of neurological conditions that affect one or more of the ways that a person takes in, stores, or uses information. ...

External links

  Results from FactBites:
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act Hearing (6498 words)
IDEA's basic premise is that all children with disabilities have a federally-protected civil right to have available to them a free appropriate public education that meets their schooling and related service needs in the least restrictive environment, in regular classes, in the school the student will attend if not disabled.
IDEA is a comprehensive scheme set up by Congress to aid states in complying with their constitutional obligations to provide public education for children with disabilities.
IDEA was an attempt to relieve the fiscal burden placed on states and localities by their responsibility to provide education for all handicapped children.
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) (642 words)
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act was last authorized on December 3, 2004, as Public Law 108-446.
By ensuring that all students with disabilities have access to a free appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment, this law provides a framework for school systems across the nation to use in delivering an individualized education program to almost 7 million children.
Many students with disabilities enroll in career and technical education in order to develop job skills so that they can be employed and live independently, and benefit from career and technical education in the same ways as all students.
  More results at FactBites »



Share your thoughts, questions and commentary here
Your name
Your comments

Want to know more?
Search encyclopedia, statistics and forums:


Press Releases |  Feeds | Contact
The Wikipedia article included on this page is licensed under the GFDL.
Images may be subject to relevant owners' copyright.
All other elements are (c) copyright NationMaster.com 2003-5. All Rights Reserved.
Usage implies agreement with terms, 1022, m