What is IDEA?

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The Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA) is a federal law designed to protect the rights of students with special needs, including physical and cognitive disabilities. IDEA requires public schools to provide disabled students with a free appropriate public education (FAPE).

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Under IDEA, the State Department of Education has to have rules and policies in place to make sure that state-funded schools comply with federal law. IDEA requires public schools to identify and evaluate children with special needs and disabilities each school year. IDEA gives parents of disabled students the right to:

  • Assessments to determine the child’s eligibility for services
  • Inspect school records regarding their child
  • Attend case conferences and have input in an IEP
  • Request a due process hearing to resolve disagreements with the school over the special needs child’s education or IEP

The Goals of IDEA and How it Helps Children with Special Needs

The goals of IDEA include:

  • A free and appropriate public education for disabled students
  • Appropriate educational evaluation
  • Individualized education programs for disabled students
  • Integrating disabled students in the least restrictive environment
  • Procedural safeguards
  • Parent participation in decision making

IDEA requires the school district to provide disabled students with specific education resources and services. Children with the following special needs are considered disabled for purposes of IDEA if the condition impairs his or her ability to perform in school:

  • Autism
  • Hearing impairment
  • Learning disability
  • Mental retardation
  • Orthopedic impairment
  • Traumatic brain injury (TBI)

Since 2004, our firm has been devoted to helping families with children with special needs. We stand by your side as you navigate legal matters related to a violation of IDEA. If you need representation, you can count on us to advocate for the rights of your child in seeking educational opportunities.

Contact our firm today at (888) 211-3888 to retain skilled legal counsel.

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