with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)
Office of Special Education Programs in the Office of Special
Education and Rehabilitative Services of the U.S. Department
of Education administers the Individuals with Disabilities
Education Act (IDEA), P.L. 101-476. The IDEA and its individualized
education program (IEP) provisions do not apply to postsecondary
schools. However, since it guided your educational services
throughout your K-12 education, you may want to understand
how the IDEA differs from the Title II of the ADA and Section
The IDEA directs federal financial assistance to state and
local education agencies to guarantee that school systems
provide to eligible students with disabilities a free, appropriate,
public education in the least restrictive environment with
special education and related aides and services as needed.
The law governs the education of students with disabilities
from preschool through high school completion or until the
student reaches his or her twenty second birthday.
Section 8 VAC 20-131-50 of Regulations Establishing Standards
for Accrediting Public Schools in Virginia (8 VAC 20-131-10
et. seq.) sets forth the requirements for the Standard, Advanced
Studies, and Modified Standard Diplomas and is available at
IDEA requires the development and annual review of an IEP
for each eligible student. Under the IDEA, service provision
is the responsibility of the school. A multi-disciplinary
team determines the student's eligibility to receive special
education and related services and develops the IEP with the
participation of the student, if appropriate, and his or her
parents or legal guardian(s). The IDEA defines children with
disabilities as those -
mental retardation, hearing impairments (including deafness),
speech or language impairments, visual impairments (including
blindness'), serious emotional disturbance (hereinafter
referred to as 'emotional disturbance'), orthopedic impairments,
autism, traumatic brain injury, other health impairments,
or specific learning disabilities . . . who, by reason thereof,
need special education and related services. [p.20 U.S.C.
current legal provisions regarding special education in Virginia,
modeled after IDEA, are contained in the Regulations Governing
Special Education Programs for Children with Disabilities
in Virginia (8 VAC 20-80-10 et seq.) and the Code of Virginia
available at www.pen.k12.va.us/VDOE/Instruction/Sped/spfedregs.html.
an individual with a disability completes his or her secondary
education, the IDEA no longer applies. However, the Americans
with Disabilities Act (ADA, 1990), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation
Act of 1973 and the Virginians with Disabilities Act do apply.
"Entitlements to services and rights against discrimination"
are the major tenets of these federal and state laws (Turnbull
& Turnbull, 2000, p. 59). Programs and services include
recruitment, admissions, financial aid, housing, transportation,
extracurricular activities, student employment, etc. Programs
and services, not necessarily facilities, must be accessible.
Institutions covered by these laws are required to provide
appropriate academic adjustments and auxiliary aids and services
to ensure that students with disabilities have the access
needed to enjoy the full benefits of a college experience.
For more information on IDEA, contact your local school division,
the Virginia Department of Education available at www.pen.k12.va.us
or IDEAPractices available at www.ideapractices.org/index.php.
from Virginia's College Guide for Students with Disabilities