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Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)

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Description: The Office of Special Education Programs is excited to release a new OSEP Fast Facts: Race and Ethnicity of Children with Disabilities Served under IDEA Part B and new supplemental tool, Hand In Hand, which explore  IDEA, Section 618 data with the specific lens on race and ethnicity. For the Hand In Hand supplemental tool, each display in the OSEP Fast Facts: Race and Ethnicity of Children with Disabilities Served under IDEA Part B is presented with critical questions to allow parents...
Description: Over the past year, many students have experienced entirely virtual and remote learning and many—especially students with disabilities—will need additional support, time, and teaching to get the high quality education they deserve. Students have missed out on opportunities to learn and develop during the pandemic. In response, the federal government is providing billions of dollars to address “instructional loss”. While states, districts, and schools pilot new approaches...
Description: The Department of Special Education and Student Services (SESS) wants to make you aware of two Questions and Answers (Q&A) documents that were released by the USED on September 28, 2020: The Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services’ Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) released a Q&A document in response to inquiries concerning implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Part B provision of services in the current COVID-19...
Description: March 21, 2020 To be clear: ensuring compliance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), † Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (Section 504), and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act should not prevent any school from offering educational programs through distance instruction. School districts must provide a free and appropriate public education (FAPE) consistent with the need to protect the health and safety of students with disabilities and those...
Description: Evaluation is an essential beginning step in the special education process for a child with a disability. Before a child can receive special education and related services for the first time, a full and individual initial evaluation of the child must be conducted to see if the child has a disability and is eligible for special education. Informed parent consent must be obtained before this evaluation may be conducted.
Description: Where will a student with a disability receive his or her special education and related services? IDEA requires placement in the least restrictive environment (LRE) for each child, a setting that is based on the child’s IEP.
Description: The nation’s special education law is called the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, or IDEA. As part of making special education and related services available to children with disabilities in the public schools, IDEA defines the term “child with a disability.” That definition includes specific disability terms, which are also defined by IDEA, as this webpage describes. The IDEA’s disability terms and definitions guide how States in their own turn define...
Description: Title |  Building the Legacy for Our Youngest Children with Disabilities: A Training Curriculum on Part C of IDEA 2004 By Whom? | This training curriculum was produced by NICHCY at the request of the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) at the U.S. Department of Education. The Center for Parent Information and Resources is pleased to house this curriculum and to make it continuously available. For Whom? |  The curriculum is intended to help all those involved with...
Description: Finally, we come to the last of the IEP components—the transfer of rights at age of majority. This component is only needed in the IEPs of some students, as you’ll see. IDEA’s exact words What does age of majority mean? What IDEA requires How is the student informed?
Description: Early intervention is full of terms that people constantly use in writing and in conversation, and it’s important to know what those terms mean. We are pleased to provide this handy reference to early intervention terminology, and hopes it helps our readers quickly connect with the meaning of pivotal words and phrases in the field.
Description: Module 1 welcomes everyone to Part C of IDEA—the early intervention program for infants and toddlers with disabilities.
Description: The education of children with disabilities is a top national priority. Our nation’s special education law, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), sets high standards for their achievement and guides how special help and services are made available in schools to address their individual needs.
Description: In drafting the provisions of IDEA, our nation’s special education law, Congress clearly contemplated that, at times, there would be disagreements between parents of children with disabilities and the school districts providing special education and related services to their children. While it is expected that parents and school personnel will work in partnership to ensure children with disabilities are provided appropriate services, there are times when the child’s parents and...
Description: Being a parent is the most wonderful—and hardest—job in the world. If you have a child with special needs, your job is no less wonderful, but it can be more complicated. Your child’s education is most likely an area of great interest to you. As a child with a disability, he or she may be eligible for special education services in school. If so, then it will be important for you to learn: more about special education; how special education services can support your child; and...
Description: Individualized Education Program (IEP): Summary, Process and Practical Tips from Goodwin Procter LLP Individualized Education Programs help ensure a student with autism is receiving the best possible services in school. IEPs are based on each student’s unique strengths and challenges. They help define a student’s personalized educational goals and lay out the steps that will be taken to achieve those goals. A team of lawyers at Goodwin Procter LLP has generously put together a...
Description: Virginia's Guidelines for Educating Students with Specific Learning Disabilities (PDF) Also available as Accessible Word Document (Word) – A resource for teachers and administrators as they address the educational needs of students with a Specific Learning Disability (SLD). These guidelines offer an overview of best practices for educating individuals with SLD. Parents of children with SLD may find this document useful as well. Specific Learning Disability...
Description: The United States is more accessible to deaf and hard of hearing individuals and people with disabilities today than it was 50, 20, or even 10 years ago. A variety of laws ensures equality in the treatment of deaf and hard of hearing people. Communication barriers have been addressed, and wider opportunities are available in education, employment, and community. The legislation that ensures accessibility is presented in this article.
Description: Every child is unique and learns in different ways. If your child has been identified as needing special education services to support his or her learning at school, you can play a major role in shaping the services your child receives. This section will help you understand the Individualized Education Program (IEP) and the importance of your participation in developing your child’s IEP Plan. You are a required member of your child’s IEP team, and your ideas must always be considered...
Description: If your child has an Individualized Education Program (IEP), IDEA guarantees your some important rights. The right to: Participate in IEP Meetings, An Independent Evaluation, Give (or Deny) Consent, Contest a School's Decision, and Private Education Paid by the Public School (in specific circumstances).
Description: This site contains IEP Resources for Parents, including Understanding Individualized Education Programs (IEPs), 6 Steps to Request an IEP Meeting Video: 8 Insider Tips on Navigating IEP Meetings What is an IEP? How to get an IEP And more ...
Description: The Office of Community Support for Military Families with Special Needs is pleased to provide the Department of Defense Special Needs Parent Tool Kit — Birth to 18. This tool kit provides information and resources that will help you improve your quality of life and teaches you how to advocate for your child with special needs. Each of the six modules addresses issues you are likely to encounter throughout your child’s life. Whether your child has been recently diagnosed with a...
Description: We are pleased to provide English speakers with quick access to the wealth of information in Spanish on this website. For those of you who don’t speak Spanish, use this page to easily find and share important information with the Spanish speakers you serve in their own language. Use the alphabetical jumps below to search the list for topics in English. Each item starts with the topic/title in English and a link to information in English on that topic. This is followed by the...
Description: Información en español en este sitio, Nos complacemos en facilitar su acceso rápido a nuestra información en español a través de esta lista alfabética organizada por Tema de Discapacidad.
Description: Students with Disabilities and Bullying: Top five things for parents, educators, and students to know 1. The impact – Bullying affects a student’s ability to learn Many students with disabilities are already addressing unique challenges in school. When they are bullied, it can directly impact their ability to learn and grow. Bullying is not a harmless rite of childhood that everyone experiences. Research shows that bullying can negatively impact a child’s access to education...
Description: This fact sheet covers the following questions: What does a school have to do when a child with a disability is being bullied?, Does it matter if a child has an Individualized Education Program (IEP) or 504 plan?, Where can I go for help? (U.S. Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights)
Description: Early intervention services are designed to address the developmental needs of eligible infants and toddlers with disabilities, ages birth to the third birthday, and their families. Early intervention is authorized by Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
Description: This article describes how the IEP meeting is scheduled, who comes, and the special factors that team members must consider when writing an IEP. IEP teams are made up of individuals who bring different perspectives and expertise to the table. Pooling their knowledge, team members set out to craft an individualized response to a specific child’s needs, taking into account that same child’s strengths and talents. There’s a lot of information shared at IEP meetings, and a lot of...
Description: The Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) at the U.S. Department of Education regularly provides guidance to the field on the nation’s special education law, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). “Guidance” can take several forms: OSEP’s correspondence in response to questions received from the field; policy documents and letters on priority issues; State determination letters; and non-regulatory guidance. All are intended to clarify elements of...
Description: In drafting the provisions of IDEA, our nation’s special education law, Congress clearly contemplated that, at times, there would be disagreements between parents of children with disabilities and the school districts providing special education and related services to their children. While it is expected that parents and school personnel will work in partnership to ensure children with disabilities are provided appropriate services, there are times when the child’s parents and...
Description: If you’re looking for information about disabilities in infants, toddlers, children, and youth with disabilities, you’ve come to the right place! The Center for Parent Information and Resources (CPIR) offers information and connections to the full spectrum of disabilities in children, including developmental delays and rare disorders. Use the links below to learn about typical developmental milestones in childhood, specific disabilities and disorders, and the...
Description: Welcome to the alphabet soup of special education! The disability community is full of acronyms that people constantly use in writing and in conversation, and it’s important to know what those acronyms stand for. Acronyms are used in order to abbreviate names or phrases. The CPIR is pleased to provide this list of special education and disability-related acronyms, and hope it helps our readers quickly connect with the meaning of pivotal acronyms in the field.
Description: A critical part of improving developmental and educational results for children with disabilities is using effective practices in early intervention, wherever services are being provided—an agency setting, the home, and across the child’s natural environment. An impressive knowledge base of experience has been built on the delivery of early intervention services.
Description: The term multiple disabilities is general and broad. From the term, you can’t tell: how many disabilities a child has; which disabilities are involved; or how severe each disability is. Many combinations of disabilities are possible. For example, one child with multiple disabilities may have an intellectual disability and deafness. Another child may have cerebral palsy and autism.
Description: Helps parents understand the process that guides their child's transition from infant and toddler intervention services to other early childhood services at age three and includes strategies to use for a successful transition. 2010. (See translations for Somali and Spanish.)
Description: The Infant & Toddler Connection of Virginia includes rights and safeguards to protect parents and children. Parents must be informed about these rights and safeguards in the Infant & Toddler Connection of Virginia so that they can have a leadership role in the services provided to their family. Notice of Child and Family Rights and Safeguards is an official notice of the rights and safeguards of children and families as defined under federal Part C regulations of the Individuals with...
Description: Read This Publication If You Want to Know… How to have your child evaluated (at no cost to you) to see why he or she is having difficulty in school What the evaluation process involves and how you can contribute to it How special education can support your child’s learning, if he or she is found eligible for services How your child’s eligibility is determined and your right to participate in making that decision What happens next, if your child is found eligible...
Description: When a child is having trouble in school, it’s important to find out why. The child may have a disability. By law, schools must provide special help to eligible children with disabilities. This help is called special education and related services. There’s a lot to know about the process by which children are identified as having a disability and in need of special education and related services. This section of CPIR’s website is devoted to helping you learn about that process....
Description: Special education is full of terms that people constantly use in writing and in conversation, and it’s important to know what those terms mean. NICHCY is pleased to provide this handy reference to special education terminology, and hopes it helps our readers quickly connect with the meaning of pivotal words and phrases in the field.
Description: NICHCY was funded for decades by the Office of Special Education Programs, at the U.S. Department of Education. The project’s funding ended on September 30, 2014. Much of the rich library of materials and publications that NICHCY produced over the years has a new home at the Center for Parent Information and Resources (CPIR).
Description: The federal regulations for IDEA 2004 include a section (Subpart E) called Procedural Safeguards. These safeguards are designed to protect the rights of parents and their child with a disability and, at the same time, give families and school systems several mechanisms by which to resolve their disputes.  
Description: As technology has come to play an increasingly important role in the lives of all persons in the United States, in the conduct of business, in the functioning of government, in the fostering of communication, in the conduct of commerce, and in the provision of education, its impact upon the lives of the more than 50,000,000 individuals with disabilities in the United States has been comparable to its impact upon the remainder of the citizens of the United States. Any development in mainstream...
Description: Looking for information, resources, and technical assistance (TA) to help you and others support children with disabilities in their least restrictive environment in school? Here’s a starter list of places to look online. These will surely lead you to more.
Description: For many students with disabilities—and for many without—the key to success in the classroom lies in having appropriate adaptations, accommodations, and modifications made to the instruction and other classroom activities. Some adaptations are as simple as moving a distractible student to the front of the class or away from the pencil sharpener or the window. Other modifications may involve changing the way that material is presented or the way that students respond to show their...
Description: Life is full of transitions, and one of the more remarkable ones occurs when we get ready to leave high school and go out in the world as young adults. When the student has a disability, it's especially helpful to plan ahead for that transition. In fact, IDEA requires it.
Description: The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is a federal law that addresses the education of children with disabilities. This publication includes information that explains the provisions related to, and benefits available to, children with disabilities who are enrolled by their parents in private schools.
Description: English language learners with disabilities are a growing part of the K-12 school population in the U.S. The available knowledge on how to effectively educate these students, and measure their progress, is small but increasing. However, many educators and families have pressing questions. This Impact issue offers responses to some of those questions by people from around the country who are helping schools meet the needs of this growing student population.
Description: Esta guía para padres ha sido elaborada por el Ministerio de Educación de Virginia ("VDOE") a fin de ayudarles a entender sus derechos y obligaciones, los derechos de su hijo y las obligaciones de la escuela para satisfacer las necesidades especiales de su hijo. Esta guía incluye una descripción del proceso de educación especial y lo que se les exige a ustedes y a la escuela durante cada paso de ese proceso. En cada sección se destacan los plazos...
Description: Resources - Special Education Regulations & Rights "Your Family's Special Education Rights" identifies key parts of the “Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004” (IDEA), a federal law governing the education of students with disabilities. IDEA 2004 requires that families be informed of their special education rights, including how families and schools can resolve problems. This document is available in Arabic (PDF), Chinese (PDF), English (PDF), Urdu...
Description: When a child receives special education services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), he or she must have an Individualized Education Program (IEP). This is a written document listing, among other things, the special educational services that the child will receive. The IEP is developed by a team that includes the child’s parents and school staff. The IEP is an extremely important document in the educational lives of students with disabilities receiving special...
Description: A complaint is generally an expression of some disagreement with a procedure or a process regarding special education programs, procedures or services. A formal complaint is considered a request that this division investigate an alleged violation of a right of a parent and/or child with disabilities who is eligible, or believed to be eligible, for certain services based on federal and state laws and regulations governing special education.