The Individual with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is federal law that affords a free and appropriate public education to eligible children with disabilities across the country and guarantees special education and related services to those children. Congress reauthorized IDEA in 2004 and in December 2015, amended IDEA through the Every Student Succeeds Act. As part of the law, Congress affirms:
“Disability is a natural part of the human experience and in no way diminishes the right of individuals to participate in or contribute to society. Improving educational results for children with disabilities is an essential element of our national policy of ensuring equality of opportunity, full participation, independent living, and economic self-sufficiency for individuals with disabilities.”
The Arc of Texas and Disability Rights Texas have collaborated to produce the IDEA Manual 2022-2023 which is designed to familiarize parents and guardians with the requirements of IDEA and Texas law so they can act as equal partners in planning their children’s education. By using the IDEA Manual and working with school staff, parents and guardians will learn how to plan an educational program that will lead to independent and productive lives for their children and themselves.