The Basics Of Individuals With Disabilities Education Act


Many a laws in United States have been implemented with a special focus to ensure equal treatment to people with disabilities. One of the key regulations in this regard is the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. The main focus area of this law is education of disabled individuals with ages 0 to 26 categorized under any of the 13 specified categories of disability. The law is only applicable to states and institutions which accept aid from the federal government.

2004 Amendments
In December 2004, the Act was significantly amended and the clause of Free Appropriate Public Education was introduced. With this new amendment, it has been necessitated that for the entire duration of preschool to age of 21, such students be provided with special education programs which are customized according to their requirements. Additionally it is required that such students be prepared to live an independent life.

Eligibility Criteria
Whereas being disabled according to the defined 13 categories is a basic requirement, it is not the only requirement to quali-fy for the benefits of this law. The law requires that there must be a need for special education being provided to the child. At the same time it must be understood that students who qualify for IDEA would also qualify for benefits under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, yet not everyone who qualifies for Section 504 would qualify for benefits under IDEA.

Individualized Education Program
The primary aspect of this law is the provision of an Individualized Education Program. An Individualized Education Pro-gram is especially designed to meet the requirements of a particular person. This is prepared keeping in mind the needs and requirements of that particular person. The primary criteria of such an Individualized Education Program is to ensure a Least Restrictive Environment, whereas such restrictions may be both- physical and intellectual.

The program is created by a team consisting of the parents of the child along with one of the regular style education teachers of the child and a special education teacher. Other people involved are school psychologist and the administrator. The role of administrator is to ensure search and availability of the appropriate special education facilities within the school district.

Related Services
IDEA also makes provisions for a number of related services to be instituted for the beneficiary. Such services may be including but not limited to proper psychological and physiological support. Additionally, provisions have been made for appropriate parent counseling as well.

It must be understood that the responsibility of identifying such students lies with the public school district. Various leading cases in regard to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act include Schaffer v. Weast, 126 S.Ct. 528, Arlington v. Murphy, 126 S.Ct. 2455, Winkelman v. Parma City School District, 127 S.Ct. 1994 and Forest Grove School District v. T.A.