News from INDEx
Working for Independence, Equity, and Justice!
Navigating the realm of education rights can be very daunting. There are so many acronyms and so much terminology that it may even feel like you need to learn another language just to understand your rights and responsibilities. Today we will look at the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
Approximately 143,000 eligible students in Washington state receive special education through related services. These are carried out throughout the IDEA. It’s responsibilities are to provide free appropriate public education to kids with disabilities. Students must learn side by side with their peers if possible. This is referred to as the lease restrictive environment (LRE). Schools must give parents a voice in their child’s education. This includes a student voice. Reaching the age of 18 in Washington refers to Age of Majority. If still in school at that age, the student becomes legally responsible for their own education decision making.
IDEA has four parts: Part A General Provisions for purpose and definitions used. Part B Assistance for all Children with Disabilities which provides grants to assist schools to provide appropriate education to children 3 – 21. Part C Infants and Toddlers with Disabilities which includes early intervention services for infants and toddlers birth through age 2. And Part D National Activities to Improve Education of Children with Disabilities which provides discretionary grants to support school staff development, technology, and parent-training and information centers.
IDEA also applies to charter schools, private schools and early intervention services. To be eligible a student must have a disability that requires specially designed instruction (SDI). Instruction is tailored in the form of an Individual Education Program (IEP). For more information, contact INDEx and learn about the process.
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