IDEA - Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act better known as IDEA was passed to federal law to ensure all children get a free public education despite any mental or physical disabilities.
IDEA applies to educational institutions that receive funding from federal sources which includes most public schools. Students have to meet specific qualifications to be covered under IDEA. Not all students receiving special education and Individual Educational Plans are qualified for this legislation. Other services are available to those students. In order for a child to be covered under IDEA they have to have a disability such as mental retardation, autism, serious hearing impairments or be deaf, speech and language impairments, blindness and other visual troubles, physical disabilities, traumatic brain injuries, and serious emotional disturbance that impedes daily functioning.
Specific learning disabilities that also warren the needs for special education services are covered. In addition to being covered by IDEA these students are also protected by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation act. Students that do not qualify for IDEA often receive services under Section 504. There is also the zero reject rule legislation stating that every student even if they are in a coma is still to be provided educational services by the school.
There are many different services covered under IDEA. Not all of them are direct service education. Other services include speech therapy, occupational therapy, psychological services ,early intervention, and rehabilitation counseling. These services help with behaviors or physical issues that impede a child’s ability to learn. In addition to teachers and other educations providing services to the child there are school social workers and school health services involved. There are even counselors to work with the parents to help and educate them about their child’s disability.
IDEA was made into legislation to ensure every child gets a free public education that fits their needs. This allows students to receive lift skills courses and employment training. The students cannot be discriminated against due to their disability and are to be given proper accommodation to help them with the learning process.
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