Fact Sheet: The Individuals With Disabilities Education Act
The Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (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. IDEA is an important law because it requires that children and youth with disabilities in mandated age ranges receive appropriate special education and related services. Under IDEA, a free appropriate public education (FAPE) means special education and related services that are provided at public expense; meet the state education agency standards; include preschool, elementary, and secondary schools; and are in keeping with an Individualized Education Plan. The following is a summary of the kinds of evaluations and interventions that schools use to identify and meet the needs of students with disabilities, the rights of parents under IDEA, and links to additional information.