Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)

IDEA requires public schools to make available to all eligible children with disabilities a free appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment appropriate to their individual need. The Act requires public school systems to develop appropriate Individualized Education Programs (IEP’s) for each child reflecting specific special education and related services appropriate for individual child. IEP’s must be developed by a team of knowledgeable persons and must be at least reviewed annually. The team includes the child’s teacher; the parents, subject to certain limited exceptions; the child, if determined appropriate; an agency representative who is qualified to provide or supervise the provision of special education; and other individuals at the parents’ or agency’s discretion. If parents disagree with the proposed IEP, they can request a due process hearing and a review from the State educational agency. Parents may also appeal the State agency’s decision to State or Federal courts.

Information: Office of Special Education & Rehabilitation Services – 1-202-245-7468 or