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IDEA, Parents Rights, and Other Laws

IDEA is where IEPs come from! In 1975, the United States Congress passed legislation providing for the education and protection of children with disabilities in public schools. The law was reauthorized in 2004 and named The Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act Amendments of 2004 (IDEA ’04). The primary purpose of IDEA, also known as P.L. 108-446, is to ensure that children with disabilities receive a high quality, free and appropriate education (FAPE).

IDEA governs how states and public agencies provide early intervention, special education and related services to more than 6.5 million eligible infants, toddlers, children and youth with disabilities. Infants and toddlers with disabilities (birth-2) and their families receive early intervention services under IDEA Part C. Children and youth (ages 3-21) receive special education and related services under IDEA Part B.

Links to great IDEA resources:

Especially for Parents:

Read more about IDEA:

•   The US Department of Education’s searchable website was created to provide a “one-stop shop” for resources related to IDEA and its implementing regulations. It is a “living” website and will change and grow as resources and information become available. When fully implemented, the site will provide searchable versions of IDEA and the regulations, access to cross-referenced content from other laws (e.g., the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), etc.), video clips on selected topics, topic briefs on selected regulations, links to OSEP’s Technical Assistance and Dissemination (TA&D) Network and a Q&A Corner where you can submit questions, and a variety of other information sources. Items are being added to the IDEA website daily and a section on Early Childhood is being developed – so be sure to visit often!

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The contents of this website were developed under a grant from the US Department of Education, #H328M140025.  However, those contents do not necessarily represent the policy of the US Department of Education, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government. Project Officer, Julia Martin Eile.

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