Individuals with Disabilities Education Act Disability Categories–Part B

Landmark federal legislation—the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)—passed in 1975 (Public Law 94–142) mandated that children with disabilities have access to a free and appropriate public education. Before IDEA became law, an estimated one million children with disabilities were excluded from the public education system. A trend toward increased inclusiveness has occurred as a result of a series of reauthorizations of the original legislation as well as judicial review. Moreover, the zero reject principle requires the identification and education of all children with disabilities regardless of the degree of impairment.

In place at the federal level is a categorically driven service delivery model for special education. Provision of services is contingent upon the child's need, eligibility criteria for a specific disability, and a documented adverse ...

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