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Individuals with Disabilities Education Act

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act is the federal law which safeguards a child with a disability’s right to a free and appropriate public education. The six principles in IDEA are:


    • Non-Discriminatory Evaluation

        The Non-Discriminatory Evaluation principle has two purposes:

          1. To determine if a student has a disability; and

          2. If there is a disability to determine whether the student then requires special education and related services and if so, to begin to determine which of these services they need.

        Parents must be informed of and give consent to their child receiving a Non-Discriminatory Evaluation or a reevaluation.  As of the 1997 Amendments to IDEA, parents are members of the team which performs the evaluation.  The evaluation must be free of cultural and linguistic bias. For more information on the Non-Discriminatory Evaluation visit:




    • Parent/Student Participation

      The Parent/Student Participation principle provides for shared decision making between the parents, the student and the school. Parents have the right to be notified of all evaluations and reevaluations, receive copies of all evaluations and documentation, have access to student records and to be full members of the both the team which evaluates the student and the team which develops the IEP. For more information on the Parent/Student Participation principle visit:


    • Procedural Due Process

      The Procedural Due Process principle makes schools and parents accountable to each other. When parents and schools disagree, IDEA provides for them to participate in mediation and if that is unsuccessful, to have a due process hearing. The due process hearing is held before a disinterested person called a due process hearing officer. Whoever loses at the due process hearing has the right to appeal their case at a higher court.

For more information on IDEA visit:


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