Essay on The Individuals With Disabilities Education Improvement Act

Essay on The Individuals With Disabilities Education Improvement Act

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How IDEIA Impacted American Education

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEIA) is the law in place

today that governs the education of exceptional children. Prior to the All Handicapped Childrens

Act of 1975 there were no laws to assist exceptional children until the All Handicapped

Children’s Act of 1975. George Bush changes this act in 1994. This act was further modified in

2004 to become what educators use today. IDEIA has several principles that help shape the way

educators teach children with disabilities. The principles include Zero Reject, Nondiscriminatory

Evaluation, Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE), Least Restrictive Environment (LRE),

Procedural Safeguards, and Shared Decision Making.

The first principle in IDEIA is Zero Reject. This standard is based on the idea that

schools must educate every student, regardless of disabilities. It is the duty of the school to

provide special education to those who need it between the ages of six and seventeen. Along

with that, the Zero Reject has the child find system requirement. The child find system requires

each state’s education agency to locate, identify, and evaluate all students who have suspected

disabilities from birth up to age 21 (Heward, 16).

Students with disabilities faced several challenges before IDEIA became law. In the

beginning, it was difficult for parents to know specifics about the new law. This confusion led to

a lot miscommunication between parents and educators. Barbara Anderson, a parent of a student

with disabilities told her story at a hearing discussing zero reject. She said, “We had no idea

what the law was...and even though we begged and begged for them to do something with him to

help him learn, t...


... middle of paper ...


... when deciding which

paths to take when planning and implementing special education services. When a teacher is

deciding where to place a student with disabilities, it is imperative that they get the parents input

when deciding on the most beneficial and appropriate plan for the student (Heward, 20).

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 completely

changed the way schools handle students with disabilities. Before IDEIA and the previous All

Handicapped Children’s Act of 1975, students with disabilities faced many challenge when

perusing an education. Principles like Zero Reject, Nondiscriminatory Evaluation, Free


Appropriate Public Education, Least Restrictive Environment, Procedural Safeguards, and shared

decision-making make up the bulk of IDEIA. The principles combine to provide a better

education for those with disabilities.

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