Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is a law ensuring services to children with disabilities throughout the nation. IDEA governs how states and public agencies provide early intervention, special education and related services to more than 6.5 million eligible infants, toddlers, children and youth with disabilities.
For more information on IDEA click here.
Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE)
In general, all school-age children who are individuals with disabilities as defined by Section 504 and IDEA are entitled to FAPE. An appropriate education may comprise education in regular classes, education in regular classes with the use of related aids and services, or special education and related services in separate classrooms for all or portions of the school day. Special education may include specially designed instruction in classrooms, at home, or in private or public institutions, and may be accompanied by related services such as speech therapy, occupational and physical therapy, psychological counseling, and medical diagnostic services necessary to the child’s education.
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Individualized Education Program (IEP)
In the US, the IDEA requires public schools to develop an IEP for every student with a disability who is found to meet the federal and state requirements for special education. The IEP must be designed to provide the child with a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE). The IEP refers both to the educational program to be provided to a child with a disability and to the written document that describes that educational program.
Key considerations in developing an IEP include assessing students in all areas related to the suspected disability(ies), considering access to the general curriculum, considering how the disability affects the student’s learning, developing goals and objectives that make the biggest difference for the student, and ultimately choosing a placement in the least restrictive environment.
For more information on IEP’s click here.