Several times a year, the Individual Advocacy Team of the Council for Children’s Rights hosts a training on the Individual with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Below are some brief highlights from the training. If you are interested in learning more, or staying on the list for future trainings, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “IDEA Training.”
IDEA is a federal law ensuring that all children with disabilities have available to them a free appropriate public education (FAPE) that emphasizes special education and related services designed to meet their unique needs and prepare them for further education, employment and independent living.
-20 U.S.C. § 1400 et seq.
Special Education is defined as “specially designed instruction, at no cost to parents, to meet the unique needs of a child with a disability.”
-20 U.S.C. § 1401(29)
Child with a disability: age 3-21 with a physical or mental disability that interferes with learning so that specially designed instruction is needed to make educational progress.
Least Restrictive Environment (LRE): the setting in which children with disabilities can be educated with typical children to the maximum extent possible –Removal from regular education environment only when the nature of the disability is such that education in the regular classes with the use of supplementary aids and services cannot be achieved satisfactorily.
Individualized Education Program (IEP): the outline of the services and accommodations the child will receive to ensure FAPE as devised by the child’s IEP team.
IEP Team: parent, regular education teacher, special education teacher, representative from the school district (LEA Rep – local education agency rep), someone who can interpret assessment results, the child if appropriate, and anyone else with knowledge or special expertise regarding the child.
•Free appropriate public education (FAPE)
•Appropriate evaluations (multi-disciplinary evaluations)
•Individualized Education Program (IEP)
•Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) •Parent/student participation in making decisions
•Procedural safeguards (notice of legal rights) available under IDEA
What’s the Process:
The Special Education Process is a 90 day process that includes screening, referrals, evaluations, identification and eligibility determination, IEP development, service and placement, and continual review.
Any of the following disabilities can apply (children ages 3 – 21): •Intellectual disability •Developmental delay •Multiple disabilities •Hearing impairments (including deafness) •Speech or language impairment •Visual impairments (including blindness) •Serious Emotional Disability •Orthopedic impairment •Autism •Traumatic brain injury •Specific learning disability •Other health impairment