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IDEA for Disabled Individuals

Introduction to Persons Exceptionalities

December 2, 2013
BreAnn Lush

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, also known as IDEA, is a federal law that
dictates how state and public schools provide special education and related services to children
with disabilities. Before IDEA individuals with disabilities had slim chances of succeeding in
the schools and in employment. IDEA handles children from birth to eighteen to twenty-one
years of age. This act helps students with disabilities be as individual as students can be with the
problems that students face. Both educators and students have benefited from this act in several
wonderful ways that are noticed by the entire government (Individuals, Wikipedia). IDEA has
six principles that develop what the government wishes to accomplish in the services to children
with disabilities. This act not only impacted students but also educators.
Elementary and Secondary Education Act, also known as ESEA, and IDEA present
issues on how the efforts impact students with visual impairments. ESEA is also known as the
No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). Individuals with Disabilities Education Act addresses the
provision of quality education for students with disabilities (National, AFB). In 1975 Congress
passed the Education for All Handicapped Children Act (EAHCA), which is one of the most
comprehensive laws in the history of education in the United States. This Act formed together
several pieces of state and federal legislation, making free, appropriate education available to all
eligible students with disabilities. In 1986, EAHCA was extended to include younger children.
This act later became known as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (History,
Having IDEA come into the schools meant more work and obligations for educators.
Originally, most educators did not want IDEA to pass because teachers did not want to do the
extra work in understanding and establishing a working process that will work for the specific
child with special needs and disabilities. Other educators were simply excited to be doing
something new with the programs and were ready to help students in a more helpful way. The
Zero Reject principle requires schools to educate students with disabilities. Therefore, though
educators did not want to do this initially, teachers were required to educate all the students.
Throughout the years educators were able to understand why this act was granted and proved an
appropriate education with students with disabilities. Even though some educators were more
understanding as to how to handle the child there were still complications. Due to the title
disability the students were being educated but students were not being treated equally and
students were not pushed to excel in the assignments. Teachers were afraid to push the students
with disabilities too far or that the educators did not want to assign an assignment and then the
student not do the work because of the assignment being too hard. Educators also had to learn
and understand the diversity of cultures and the cultural backgrounds in order to overcome some
of the barriers faced throughout the special education programs.
IDEA helped students with disabilities to have an individual way of handling different
subjects in the classroom settings as well as throughout the school. Children who are different
have often been denied full and fair access to educational opportunities. This act also helped
students outside of the school, in the individuals own homes and other environments around the
student. Educators are required to fill out an Individualized Education Program (IEP) for
students with disabilities. The IEP will help other educators understand how to appropriately
understand the students needs and what the educators need to do in order to follow the Least
Restrictive Environment Act (LRE). LRE is the principle that students with disabilities must be
educated with children without disabilities to the maximum extent appropriate. This helps the
students learn in the same setting as the students peers instead of learning individually and not
having any social interaction in the classroom.
In the past twenty-five years IDEA has accomplished many different acts. One is that the
majority of children with disabilities are being educated in the individuals neighborhood
schools, in regular classrooms with the students non-disabled peers. Another is that the high
school graduation and employment rates for youths with disabilities have increased dramatically.
Also that post-secondary enrollments among individuals with disabilities receiving IDEA
services have also sharply increases. IDEA has helped several students with different cultural
backgrounds and with disabilities to receive an ideal future for the individuals lives. This act
not only impacted students but also educators

Work Cited

"History of Education in the United States." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 17 Nov. 2013.
Web. 3 Dec. 2013.
"Individuals with Disabilities Education Act." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 24 Nov. 2013.
Web. 02 Dec. 2013.
"National Education Program." AFB. Web. 03 Dec. 2013.