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Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 2004

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 2004 (IDEA) is the cornerstone piece of legislation ensuring the free appropriate public education of students with disabilities in the United States. The IDEA establishes six key areas of substantive and procedural requirements for schools and school districts, which form the framework protecting the rights of individuals with disabilities in education. These requirements include the Individualized Education Program (IEP), free and appropriate public education, least restrictive environment, appropriate evaluation, parent and teacher participation, and procedural safeguards.

History

Following the ratification of the 1973 Rehabilitation Act, which established that federal programs could not discriminate on the basis of disability, Congress passed the Education for All Handicapped Children’s Act of 1975 (EHA) to provide equal access to education for all students with ...

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