The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is the United States' Special Education federal law that guarantees all eligible students receive a free appropriate public education (FAPE) meeting learning needs in the least restrictive environment (LRE) possible. IDEA allocates federal dollars to state programs in order to implement a variety of developmental and educational services for students with disabilities. Nationally, more than 6.5 million eligible infants, toddlers, children and youth are served under this program.
IDEA was first enacted in 1975, amended several times including in 1997 by President Bill Clinton, and reauthorized by President Bush in December of 2004. This act is aligned to the No Child Left Behind Act and organized in four parts:
To learn more, visit the new IDEA website (Building the Legacy: IDEA 2004)