Public final regulationsunder Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), aimed at promoting equity by targeting widespread disparities in the treatment of students of color with disabilities.
On Nov. 29, 1975, President Gerald Ford signed into law the Education for All Handicapped Children Act(Public Law 94-142), now known as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). In adopting this landmark civil rights measure, Congress opened public school doors for millions of children with disabilities and laid the foundation of the country’s commitment to ensuring that children with disabilities have opportunities to develop their talents, share their gifts, and contribute to their communities. In the last 40 years, we have advanced our expectations for all students, including students with disabilities. Classrooms have become more inclusive and the future of children with disabilities brighter. Significant progress has been made toward protecting the rights of, meeting the individual needs of, and improving educational results for infants, toddlers, children and youths with disabilities. Today, according to the 2013 Child Count, over 62 percent of students with disabilities are in general education classrooms 80 percent or more of their school day, and early intervention services are being provided to over 340,000 infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families. Since 1975, we have gone from excluding nearly 1.8 million youths with disabilities from public schools to providing over 6.9 million students with disabilities special education and related services designed to meet their individual needs. In 2015, we celebrate the 40th anniversary of the passage of Public Law 94-142. While tremendous progress has been made over the years, we must continue the hard work and address the challenges that still exist. Although we are able to help many individual students to achieve their goals, we must strive to ensure that all children have the support they need and to find ways to meet each student’s needs within the context of each school. See the ed.gov website for additional resources.
IDEA 2004 - The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is a law ensuring services to children with disabilities throughout the nation. 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.
Section 504 - Section 504 is a federal law designed to protect the rights of individuals with disabilities in programs and activities that receive Federal financial assistance from the U.S. Department of Education. Section 504 provides: "No otherwise qualified individual with a disability in the United States . . . shall, solely by reason of her or his disability, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance . . . ."
The Section 504 regulations require a school district to provide a "free appropriate public education" (FAPE) to each qualified student with a disability who is in the school district's jurisdiction, regardless of the nature or severity of the disability. Under Section 504, FAPE consists of the provision of regular or special education and related aids and services designed to meet the student's individual educational needs as adequately as the needs of nondisabled students are met.