Individuals with Disabilities Education Act

Who is Covered Under IDEA?

Everyone! Under federal law, every child with disabilities is entitled to all the benefits that IDEA provides.

14 Mandates of IDEA

There are 14 Mandates of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act that must be upheld by the public education system.

  1. FAPE (Free Appropriate Public Education)
  2. Categories of Disabilities
  3. Special Education
  4. Related Services
  5. Child Identification / Child Find
  6. Full Educational Opportunities Goal
  7. Physical Education
  8. Priorities
  9. IEP (Individualized Education Plan)
  10. Due Process
  11. Protection in Evaluation Procedures
  12. LRE (Least Restrictive Environment)
  13. Confidentiality of Information
  14. Transition

1997 Amendments to IDEA

In 1997, President Bill Clinton signed a bill that made some amendments to the IDEA legislation. These amendments involved:
  • Identifying children with special needs before they enter school and providing services to help them,
  • Developing individualized education programs (IEPs) that focus on improving educational results through the general curriculum,
  • Educating children with disabilities with their nondisabled peers,
  • Setting higher expectations for students who are disabled and ensuring schools are held accountable,
  • Strengthening the role of parents and fostering partnerships between parents and schools,
  • Reducing unnecessary paperwork and other burdens.
    (taken from

2004 Amendments to IDEA

In 2004, more amendments were made to IDEA, which involved including babies and toddlers and their families in the accommodations and services provided by IDEA. It also placed an emphasis on at-risk children and their families as it related to IDEA legislation, as well as refining the definition of early intervention and IEPs.

2008 Amendments to IDEA

In 2008, there were more amendments made to IDEA. These new amendments involved parental consent and involvement. It stated that a parent could order a desist in special educational services at any time by issuing a written request to a local education agency (LEA) without danger of due process. The LEA will also not be held responsible for not providing services to those children whose parents have revoked consent.