Ensure Inclusive Education
for all Texans With IDD

The Arc of Texas 2022 Public Policy Priorities

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Background
Inclusive education policies, starting with early childcare settings and continuing through postsecondary education, are necessary to assist Texans with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) in reaching their full potential.
Special education is not a separate educational system.

It is a support service provided to students with specific needs within the general education system.

Students with disabilities learn best in inclusive settings.

For example, their neighborhood schools.

Inclusive education involves every student–regardless of the severity of a student’s disability.

Participating and learning in the same school and with the same classmates as if they did not have a disability is essential.

Inclusive educational environments establish the foundation for society.

It plays a key role in supporting the rights of all people to live in their own homes and be competitively employed as contributing and valued members of the community.

Legislative Solutions
Serve the individualized needs of every student.

Ensure students with disabilities are identified and evaluated as quickly as possible to receive a Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) that is entitled to them by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

Ensure compensatory services are available and accessible.

Provide extra services to students who may need to catch up to reach their educational goals as a result of the pandemic.

Incentivize supporting children with IDD in inclusive settings.

Remedy funding weights that are still skewed toward segregated instructional arrangements and do not provide enough incentives for school districts to fully implement least restrictive environments.

Inclusive Education Resources

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.

2022-2023 IDEA Manual

2022-2023 IDEA Manual en Español