Posts on this website may contain affiliate links at no cost to you. Please see my Affiliate Disclosure.
IDEA stands for the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. It was originally enacted by Congress in 1975 to ensure that children with disabilities have the opportunity to receive a free appropriate public education, and now has been revised several times. It was originally called the Educating all Handicapped Children Act and required that all schools who received federal funds, educate students with disabilities in a different manner.
Before IDEA, many children with disabilities did not receive an education and if they did, they were usually segregated from the general education population. This left many students with disabilities isolated and left out of school programs and disabilities. Today, under IDEA, schools are required to develop effective programs for children with disabilities and include parents in the decision-making process.
While IDEA has had several revisions, the most recent amendments were passed by Congress in December 2004, with final regulations published in August 2006 (Part B for school-aged children) and in September 2011 (Part C, for babies and toddlers).
To access the full law verbatim, click here.
To access Part C of IDEA: Early Intervention for Babies and Toddlers, click here. Part C is the federal law for infants and toddlers with disabilities (birth-3) and their families to receive early intervention services.
To access Part B of IDEA: Services for School-aged Children, click here. Part B is the federal law for children and youth (ages 3-22) to receive special education and related services.
If you have any questions about IDEA, you should visit IDEA Department of Education website.