Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is a federal mandate that ensures students with a disability can get an education free through public options that meet their needs. Students with a disability will not be subject to discrimination because of their special need. Through IDEA education initiatives throughout the United States receive federal funding to operate programs for students with special needs. The whole idea is to make sure students of this status receive essential care and education that will encourage them to live productively. This federal statue was put in place through Congress during the 1970s.
Since then it has gone through a number of changes and adaptations. There have been court rulings during this time period that affect how disability students receive education. Children as young as age 3 can get assistance for education needs under this act. There are several types of criteria a student must meet in order to qualify. The student is evaluated based on needs requested by their parent, healthcare professional and what is best for the student. Children up to age 18 can receive free public education, with some circumstances providing assistance to students through age 21.
There have been amendments made to the law during the early 2000s. Infants and toddlers are also able to receive educational needs that include special intervention program participation. Each year under the law more than 80,000 thousand children receive educational assistance. Because regulations with this law affect how caregivers, educators, and parents provide educational needs, there are ongoing meetings, conferences and other opportunities for the general public to provide insight on how to ensure essential care.
IDEA has helped disability students learn through similar concepts of students with no disability. They work together in special groups in an environment designed to meet their needs. They are able to learn speech development, occupational services, transitioning and experience instruction on a personal or small group level. Educators develop what is called an IEP or individualized education program. This is a tailored learning plan that focuses on the student’s needs. They have goals and milestones set to help students make progress. This information is also used to help these programs remain eligible for grants and federal aid. IDEA provides essential elements that help protect students and their parents while students participate in such programs. Parents can help their child by getting in touch with the agency that specializes in educational needs for disability students.
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