Learning Disabilities: Part II

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act

In 1973, approximately 750,000 American children were not attending school. Many of these children were disabled.

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) first saw light as the Education for All Handicapped Children Act (or EHA, known as public law 94-142) in 1975. The EHA was amended in 1990 and was renamed IDEA. Additional amendments were made to IDEA in 1997; these are commonly referred to as IDEA ’97.

IDEA guarantees that no child can be excluded from receiving specialized education services–including children who have hydrocephalus. IDEA is the only federal law that mandates education. Although most states have laws that regulate education, this is a federal law that has been upheld by the Supreme Court.

The purposes of the IDEA ’97 are to clarify and strengthen IDEA by providing parents and educators with the tools to:

  • Preserve the right of children with disabilities to a free, appropriate, public education.
  • Promote improved educational results for children with disabilities through early intervention, preschool, and educational experiences that prepare them for later educational challenges and employment.