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What is IDEA (or PL 94-142) ??

IDEA stands for the Individuals with Education Disabilities Act. IDEA is a law that was originally passed in 1975, and focused on ensuring that all students with disabilities receive a free education without discrimination. Also, it focused on providing related services for students. There are four parts to this law: Sections A, B, C, and D.

Who is covered under IDEA?

Every single person is covered under IDEA.

It was created with students with disabilities in mind, but every teacher, parent, and student is covered under it, because it must be followed.

14 Mandates of IDEA

1. Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE)

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. Individualized Education Plan (IEP)

10. Due Process

11. Protection in Evaluation Procedures

12. Least Restrictive Environment (LRE)

13. Confidentiality of Information

14. Transition

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1997 Amendments

  • Mastery of goals listed in the IEP (Individualized Education Plan)
  • Active Participation/Engagement compared to simple participation of parents
  • Discipline in the special education classroom has been redefined.
  • LRE (Least Restrictive Environment) now includes general curriculum. In order to provide students with a more inclusive environment.
  • Higher expectations for students and accountability to school are provided.
  • A strengthened role between parents and schools is present.

2004 Amendments

  • Focused on improving the results of educational material for students with disabilities during the IEP process.
  • Annual Goals in the IEP that will be measured and supported.
  • IDEA now correlates with NCLB (No Child Left Behind Act)
  • Paperwork load is reduced.
  • Early intervention strategies have been improved to offer the most beneficial care.
  • Because of the use of a Response to Intervention model, over identification has been corrected.
  • Law action/ litigation is lessened.
  • School safety is ensured.
  • Total funding of IDEA is now in place;
  • Students with disabilities must be included in state and local accountability programs.
  • Special education teachers and staff should be highly qualified.

2008 Amendments

  • A parent has the right to take back consent for any type of special education services.
  • There must be some form of representation of parents and schools by individuals who are not attorneys in due process hearings (must be a LEA representative).
  • Great efforts to provide jobs to qualified individuals with disabilities.
  • A time-frame for reporting to the public about LEA performance. (LEA is a representative of the school).
  • Public attention must be applied; and more information must be sent to the public.
  • Funds have also be relocated.

Additional Information

Video 1: Let's wrap it up!

IDEA: Individuals with Disabilities Education Act: History and Summary

The purpose of IDEA is to provide every student an education.

Every student deserves the right to an education, regardless of a disability, because, In the words of Dr. Temple Grandin:

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