IDEA: Individuals with Disabilities Education Act

This monumental piece of legislation stems from an earlier Act in 1975 called The Education For All Handicapped Children Act. As of 2001, more than 6 million children in the United States were characterized as disabled. The IDEA Act requires that public schools provide specialized services for children with disabilities from birth to the age of 21 years old.

One of the ways they do this is by creating an Individualized Education Program also known as an IEP. Every student who is disabled is mandated by law to have an IEP. An IEP is a plan designed by parents, teachers, specialists and if possible the student to determine current achievement level as well as specific goals to be fulfilled by the end of the year as well as services necessary to achieve those goals.

Disabilities that are covered an IEP include:

  • Autism
  • Deaf-Blindness
  • Deafness
  • Emotional Disturbance
  • Hearing Impairment
  • Intellectual Disability (Mental Retardation)
  • Multiple Disabilities
  • Orthopedic Impairment
  • Other Health Impairments
  • Specific Learning Disability
  • Speech or Language Impairment
  • Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Visual Impairment