The Law

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA) of 2004, is a federal law that protects the rights and ensures necessary services for children with disabilities. Within IDEA is a list of thirteen disabilities which would qualify a child for special education services. IDEA consists of three parts, Part A Part B and Part C.

Part A

This part of The Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act mainly consists of the table of contents of the law, findings and the purpose. Congress states, “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”.

Part B

The purpose of Part B of The Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act is to identify and evaluate school age children, who are suspected of having one of the disabilities listed in IDEA. Schools can request a student be evaluated if they feel the child might have a disability. This is also true for parents. If a parent feels that their school age child might have a disability they also can request an evaluation be completed for their child.

Part C

The purpose of Part C of The Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act is to lessen the effects of a child’s disability or delay through early intervention. Child Find falls under this category, where schools are responsible for making an effort to identify,locate,and evaluate any child (birth-age five) that might be suspected of having a disability.


Over the years, parts of IDEA have been revised and reauthorized (1997, 2004, 2011). Regardless of any changes, the intent remains the same, ensuring services are provided for children with disabilities.

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