National Center for Learning Disabilities

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Parent Guide to IDEA

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is the key federal education law that serves students with LD. Being informed will help you support your child’s learning needs and advocate for his or her success. Visit the chapters below for information on requesting an evaluation, student discipline and more.

Parent Guide - IDEA

Parent Guide to IDEA



Overview: Parent Guide to IDEA

An Overview of IDEA Parent Guide

Children With Needs - Students With Disabilities

In 1975, Congress first recognized the need to provide a federal law to help ensure that local schools would serve the educational needs of students with disabilities. The law they originally passed was titled the Education for All Handicapped Children Act. That first special education law has undergone several updates over the past 30 years. In 1990 the law got a new name — The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, or IDEA. The most recent version of IDEA was passed by Congress in 2004. It can be referred to as either IDEA 2004 or IDEA.

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Making the Most of the Parent Information and Training Network (audio)

In this audio podcast, two longtime directors of Parent Centers—who are themselves parents of children with disabilities—talk about the network of nonprofit Parent Training and Information Centers and Community Parent Resource Centers. These Parent Centers, funded by the U.S. Department of Education, were created specifically to help families understand their rights and responsibilities under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

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