November 2, 2022

What Is The Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)?

Honoring every child's academic needs is crucial. While educating children with disabilities might require more attention, schools are legally obligated to accommodate the needs of every child, no matter what. 

The Individuals with Disabilities Education (IDEA) was enacted in 1975 to ensure that children with disabilities receive an education that meets their needs. The federal legislation requires all schools to protect special education students' rights per IDEA requirements.

What is the IDEA?

The IDEA was created to ensure that eligible children get a public education that is free and equal. The act provides rules on how public and state agencies should provide special education, early intervention, and related services to infants, toddles, and children across the country.

What is the Purpose of the IDEA?

In 2004, Congress reauthorized the IDEA and in December 2015, amended it by adding the Every Student Succeeds Act. The purpose of the IDEA is to:

  • Guarantee that students with disabilities have access to public education that provides services to meet their unique needs in order to prepare them for the future.
  • Protect the rights of children with disabilities, as well as the rights of their parents.
  • Help schools provide a comprehensive, coordinated, and specialized services in order to optimize the education of all students with disabilities.
  • Provide educators and parents with the tools needed to better their students educational results.
  • Ensure that schools are implementing strategies to help educate all students with disabilities with effectiveness and care.

Terms to Know

The IDEA requirements may sometimes seem like a foreign language. The unfamiliar terms used can leave parents and other stakeholders confused. Understanding these terminologies can help ensure you safeguard your child's rights.

  • Accommodation: An accommodation is meant to provide changes to a child's learning environment to suit their needs. Accommodations can be as simple as making sure your child sits in the front of the classroom for each class. Even small accommodations can significantly impact your child's educational experience. 
  • FAPE: FAPE is a common term that guardians and parents should know. Children with disabilities have a right to Free Appropriate Public Education. It ensures that your child receives an education that meets their needs.
  • LRE: Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) allows children with disabilities to be educated in a similar setting as other children without disabilities. The setting may refer to an education classroom.
  • IEP: An Individualized Education Program (IEP) is a binding document. It is essential to have the document if your child is eligible for special education. It highlights the child's educational goals and academic strengths and weaknesses. It also identifies where and when students should receive special education accommodations or services.
  • IEE: The Independent Educational Evaluation (IEE) is an assessment separate from the one offered at school. You can request the IEE if you disagree with your child's school evaluation. Additionally, a school can request the evaluation if they don't have experts to assess a particular issue a child has.

Contact our New York Special Education Lawyers for Help

A special education lawyer can help ensure your child receives appropriate education that suits their needs. At Mizrahi Kroub, we are dedicated to offering the legal support needed to protect your child's rights. Contact us today by filling out our online form or call us at (212) 595-6200 to schedule a consultation with our attorneys.

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