The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act is necessary to protect those students that have disabilities that may interfere with their education. These disabilities do not necessarily stop the child from learning but makes it more difficult for them to learn the way children without disabilities learn. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act protects those children that have a disability from not being allowed the right to free education. This act also protects the parents of the disabled child from not being involved in the planning of the child’s educational future.
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
In 1975, the Education of Handicapped Children Act supported the educational needs of disabled children. In 1990, after some amendments to the act, it was then called the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). This act secured that children with disabilities will receive free and appropriate education in environments with fewer restrictions. In order for children to be protected by such a law, there had to be a list of keynotes that schools have to follow to make sure that the disabled child is given the proper services necessary. The following is a list of what the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act does for those with disabilities;
- Ensures that all disabled children receive special education and services to meet their needs:
- Ensures that children with disabilities are prepared for the workforce and independent living:
- Ensures that disabled children and their families are protected under the law:
- Ensures the efforts of institutions providing the disabled person services:
- Provide assistance to state, federal, local, and educational service agencies that provide an education for the disabled (What is the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 2017).
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act has four parts attached to it. These parts are listed as Part A, Part B, Part C, and Part D. Each part and what it represents is listed below;
- Part A – this act defines the terms used and provides the creation of the Office of Special Education Programs, which is responsible for carrying out the terms:
- Part B – this part of the law lays out the educational guidelines for school children 3-21:
- Part C – recognizes the need for identifying and reaching very young children with disabilities:
- Part D – this part describes national activities that are done to improve the education of children with disabilities (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), n.d.).
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act responds to children under the age of three who need services by measuring the following areas of developmental delay. Those areas that are tested are;
- Cognitive development:
- Physical development:
- Communication development:
- Social or emotional development:
- Adaptive development (Categories of Disability Under IDEA, 2017).
There are thirteen different disabilities that are covered under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. The following thirteen disabilities are what is looked for during the test to see if a child needs services. These disabilities are;
- Autism – developmental disability fundamentally affecting verbal and nonverbal communication and social interaction:
- Deaf-Blindness – concomitant hearing and visual impairments that cause strict communication or other developmental and educational needs:
- Deafness – hearing impairment so severe that it impairs the processing of linguistic information:
Emotional Disturbance – there are different forms of emotional disturbance. In order to diagnose a child with Emotional Disturbance, one or more of the following have to occur for a long period of time;
- An inability to learn
- An inability to maintain satisfactory relationships with peers or teachers:
- Inappropriate types of behavior:
- A general pervasive mood of unhappiness or depressed:
- A tendency to develop physical symptoms of fear associated with problems (Categories of Disability Under IDEA, 2017).
- Hearing Impairment – impairment in hearing that affects the child educational performance:
- Intellectual Disability – significantly sub average general intellectual functioning:
- Multiple Disabilities – impairments that cause severe education needs such as intellectual disability-blindness or orthopedic impairment. However, deaf-blindness is not included:
- Orthopedic Impairment – orthopedic impairment that affects the child’s educational performance:
- Other Health Impairment – having limited strength vitality, or alertness that is due to chronic or acute health problems and affects the child’s educational performance:
- Specific Learning Disability – a disorder in or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding. This includes conditions such as perceptual disabilities, brain injury, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia, and developmental aphasia:
- Speech or Language Impairment – a communication disorder such as stuttering, impaired articulation, a language impairment, or a voice impairment that affects the child’s educational performance:
- Traumatic Brain Injury – injury to the brain causing severe damage that affects more than one area of the brain that alters the educational performance:
- Visual Impairment Including Blindness – impairment in vision, that even with correction, still affects the child’s educational performance (Categories of Disability Under IDEA, 2017).
Early detection as well as getting the eligibility needed is important for children with any of the previously listed disabilities are important for positive educational performance. In the article, Categories of Disability Under IDEA, it states, “Special services are available to eligible children with disabilities and can help children develop and learn” (Categories of Disability Under IDEA, 2017). Evaluations are offered, often for free from the child’s pediatrician office, a pediatric branch from a local hospital, or one can visit the NICHCY’s website for contact information. Special education along with other services is offered through public education once a child is deemed disabled.
There are six principles of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. These six principles are;
- Free Appropriate Public Education – FAPE guarantees that a child with a disability will receive special education and services to meet their needs:
- Appropriate Evaluation – A team of knowledgeable and trained evaluators will give the child and appropriate evaluation in order to plan for the child’s education:
- Individualized Education Plan – The IEP is a written plan that is drawn up to meet the child’s educational needs:
- Least Restrictive Environment – Due to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act having a strong desire to place children with disabilities in a general education classroom, modifications to the classroom, supplemental aids and services, and alternative instructional methods are used so that the disabled child can participate in the general education classroom:
- Parent Participation – This gives the parents the right to be a part of their disabled child’s educational planning. Parents and the child must be invited to the IEP meetings to make sure that parents are established an equal role in the educational planning of the disabled child:
- Procedural Safeguards – this principal safeguards that the parents and student’s enforce their rights under federal law (Your Child’s Rights: 6 Principles of IDEA, n.d.).
These rights are in place to secure the protection of the disabled child while making sure the parents are a part of their child’s educational future. They are also in place so that parent’s as well as the disabled student has the support they need in order for the child to excel in their educational career.
Although race is not defined as a disability, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act have made an impact on students of color by defending Mr. Brown in the Brown v. Board of Education in 1954. The U.S. Supreme Court said it was unlawful to separate children of race which would change special education. In the article, Timeline of the Individuals with Disabilities Educational Act (IDEA), it states, “The U.S. Supreme Court decided in the Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka case that it was unconstitutional for educational institutions to segregate children by race. This landmark legal ruling would have far-reaching implications for special education arena” (Timeline of the Individuals with Disabilities Educational Act (IDEA), n.d.). In 1971, PARC v. Penn fought for students with disabilities to be placed in publicly funded schools and these schools were to meet the needs of the disabled student. In 1975, President Gerald Ford signed a law that every stats that received federal money had to furnish equal education for those students with disabilities. In 1986, President Reagan signed an act that gave parents of disabled children added voice in their child’s Individual Education Plan (IEP). In 1990, changes were made to the Public Law 101-476. This change added traumatic brain injury and autism to the new disability categories. With this change, also came a modification in how the IEP had to be written. Not only do students with traumatic brain injury or autism have an IEP but they also have an Individual Transition Plan (ITP) in place as well. The ITP provides that the student can transit to post-secondary life. And lastly, in 2004, Congress made an amendment to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act for early intervention, greater accountability, and to improve the educational outcome of the student.
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Although the Individual with Disabilities Act was put into place for children that had disabilities, this act also protects the parents to ensure they have just as much say in their child’s education as the educators do. This act helps parents to feel as if their child is protected and gets the treatment and education that general education children receive. In order for the child to be protected and the parents to have comfort in knowing that their child is receiving the best education possible, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act had to be put into place. It is important that all children receive an education no matter how they have to be taught.
- Categories of Disability Under IDEA. (2017, March 14). Retrieved October 23, 2018, from https://www.parentcenterhub.org/categories/
- Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). (n.d.). Retrieved October 26, 2018, from https://www.apa.org/advocacy/education/idea/index.aspx
- Saleh, M. (n.d.). Your Child’s Rights: 6 Principles of IDEA. Retrieved October 22, 2018, from https://www.smartkidswithld.org/getting-help/know-your-childs-rights/your-childs-rights-6-principles-of-idea/
- Timeline of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). (n.d.). Retrieved October 23, 2018, from https://educationonline.ku.edu/community/idea-timeline
- What is the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act? (2017, June 28). Retrieved October 25, 2018, from https://www.washington.edu/doit/what-individuals-disabilities-education-act
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