Skip to main content
Accessibility|Contact|Privacy|Terms of Service

IDEA - Individuals with Disabilities Education Act

  • Published: 2009-03-03 (Revised/Updated 2012-09-20) : Author: Disabled World
  • Synopsis: The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act IDEA is a law ensuring services to children with disabilities in the United States.

Main Document

What is I.D.E.A.The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is a law ensuring services to children with disabilities throughout the United States.

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.

IDEA was formerly known as the Education for All Handicapped Children Act but has grown considerably since. IDEA became a federal standard by an act of Congressional adoption in 1975 but has been amended many times since. The IDEA was most recently amended in 2004, which was a significant update.

Infants and toddlers with disabilities (birth-2) and their families receive early intervention services under IDEA Part C.

Children and youth (ages 3-21) receive special education and related services under IDEA Part B.

IDEA is considered to be a civil rights law.

However, states are not required to participate. As an incentive and to assist states in complying with its requirements, IDEA makes funds available to states that adopt at least the minimum policies and procedures specified in the IDEA regarding the education of children with disabilities. Since its inception, all states have chosen to participate.

As of 2006, more than 6 million children in the U.S. receive special education services through IDEA. Many U.S. states are still resistant to educating special needs children appropriately even though they continue to accept federal funding. The federal and state enforcement agencies do not use strong enforcement methods or penalties.

The definition of related services in the IDEA includes, but is not limited to: transportation and such developmental, corrective, and other supportive services as are required to assist a child with a disability to benefit from special education, and includes speech-language pathology and audiology services, psychological services, physical and occupational therapy, recreation, including therapeutic recreation, early identification and assessment of disabilities in children, counseling services, including rehabilitation counseling, orientation and *mobility services, and medical services for diagnostic or evaluation purposes. The term also includes school health services, social work services in schools, and parent counseling and training.

The U.S. Department of Education, 2005a regulations implementing IDEA states:

"...to the maximum extent appropriate, children with disabilities including children in public or private institutions or care facilities, are educated with children who are non-disabled; and special classes, separate schooling or other removal of children with disabilities from regular educational environment occurs only if the nature or severity of the disability is such that education in regular classes with the use of supplementary aids and services cannot be achieved satisfactorily."

According to the United States Department of Education, for children with disabilities who have been suspended for 10 days total for each school year, including partial days, the local education agency (LEA) must hold a manifestation determination hearing within 10 school days of any decision to change the placement of a child with a disability because of a violation of a code of student conduct following either the Stay Put law which states that the child shall not be moved from his or her current placement or interim services in an alternative placement if the infraction was deemed to cause danger to other students.

Similar Topics

1 : Research Into Letter-Spacing Could Help Improve Reading Ability : Binghamton University.
2 : Early Childhood Education Needs to be Accessible and Affordable : National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.
3 : Inclusive Teaching Project Aims to Get Missing Million Into School : University of Sussex.
4 : Examining Feelings of Inclusion Among Students with Disabilities : New York University (NYU).
5 : Exclusion From School Can Trigger Long-Term Psychiatric Illness : University of Exeter.
From our Education section - Full List (133 Items)


Submit disability news, coming events, as well as assistive technology product news and reviews.


Loan Information for low income singles, families, seniors and disabled. Includes home, vehicle and personal loans.


Famous People with Disabilities - Well known people with disabilities and conditions who contributed to society.


List of awareness ribbon colors and their meaning. Also see our calendar of awareness dates.


Blood Pressure Chart - What should your blood pressure be, and information on blood group types/compatibility.





1 : Telemedicine Helps Overcome Healthcare Gender Based Barriers
2 : Screen Reader Plus Keyboard Helps Blind, Low-Vision Users Browse Modern Webpages
3 : Our Digital Remains Should be Treated with Same Care and Respect as Physical Remains
4 : Tungsten: Concern Over Possible Health Risk by Human Exposure to Tungsten
5 : Student Loan Discharge Process for Disabled Veterans Made Easier
6 : Growing Bone and Cartilage Tissues for Humans from Flaxseed Like Particles
7 : Throat Reflexes Differ in People with Tetraplegia and Sleep Apnea
8 : UTA Grant to Help Minority Students Link Assistive Technology with Disability Studies


Disclaimer: This site does not employ and is not overseen by medical professionals. Content on Disabled World is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. See our Terms of Service for more information.

Reporting Errors: Disabled World is an independent website, your assistance in reporting outdated or inaccurate information is appreciated. If you find an error please let us know.

© 2004 - 2018 Disabled World™