IDEA, the Individual with Disabilities Education Act, is our nation's special education law. The IDEA guides how states, school districts, 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.
The No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act, Public Law (PL) 107-110, is the nation's latest general education law. It amends the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) and is bringing sweeping changes to our educational systems. What does the law require, what does it change about education, how are states responding, and what does the law mean for children with disabilities?Before there was IDEA, there was the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability. Section 504 of this Act continues to play an important role in education and served as a foundation for the development of the Americans with Disabilities Act.