The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, currently in place, is a revision of the original law from 1975 better know as PL 94-142, the Education of All Handicapped Children Act.
Public Law 94 -142, Education of All Handicapped Children Act was the first federal mandate requiring education for all students. The Act consisted of six major guiding principles which are still part of the current law under IDEA. These six principles are as follows:
Zero Reject – also known as FAPE – free, appropriate public education
Non-Discriminatory Assessment – also known as Multi-Factored Evaluation
Least Restrictive Environment - or Least Restrictive Alternative
Individual Education Plan – IEP
Procedural Due Process
The first re-authorization in 1990 amended PL 94 -142 to become IDEA or the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, the term “handicapped” was changed to reflect the current term “disabled”. Two additional disabling conditions – autism and traumatic brain injury – were added to the previous eleven conditions. It also added the requirement of transition for all disabled students beginning at age 16.
The next re-authorization in 1997 of IDEA reflected a stronger emphasis on family involvement, interagency coordination and least restrictive environment.
The current re-authorization of 2005 of IDEA seeks a stronger bond between students with disabilities and access/progress in the regular academic setting.
A Guide to Parent Rights in Special Education can be fourd by clicking here.