Children with Special Needs
History of the IDEA
This ed.gov web page provides a short overview of the history and accomplishments in the twenty-five years of educating children with disabilities through the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
The IDEA Partnerships inform professionals, families and the public about the 1997 reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and strategies to improve educational results for children and youth with disabilities.
Office of Special Education Programs
The Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) is dedicated to improving results for infants, toddlers, children and youth with disabilities ages birth through 21 by providing leadership and financial support to assist states and local districts. IDEA authorizes formula grants to states, and discretionary grants to institutions of higher education and other non-profit organizations to support research, demonstrations, technical assistance and dissemination, technology and personnel development and parent-training and information centers.
Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services
As part of its mission, OSEP is charged with developing, communicating and disseminating federal policy on early intervention services to infants and toddlers with disabilities and on the provision of special education and related services for children with disabilities. The OSEP Legislation and Policy Page links to the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Policy Documents Affecting the Education of Infants, Toddlers, Children and Youth with Disabilities. It also links to full text documents of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (in both English and Spanish) and other publications related to IDEA or early intervention services.
Disabilities Studies and Services Center
The Disabilities Studies and Services Center (DSSC) is a department of the Academy for Educational Development (AED). DSSC designs programs that meet the unique information, technical assistance, training, and research needs of professionals and programs that serve to improve the lives of infants, toddlers, children, youth, and adults with disabilities and their families.
National Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center
The National Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center (NECTAC) supports the national implementation of the early childhood provisions of IDEA. Funded by OSEP, their web site includes links to state and local services, conferences and training opportunities, and a huge clearinghouse of publications, documents, and resources.
National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities
The National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities (NICHCY) is the national information center that provides information on disabilities and disability-related issues. Anyone can use the services-families, educators, administrators, journalists, students. NICHCY’s special focus is children and youth (birth to age 22). Information provided includes IDEA, the nation’s special education law; No Child Left Behind (as it relates to children with disabilities); and research-based information on effective educational practices.
Parent to Parent USA
Parent to Parent programs operate in every state in the country, as well as many programs internationally. The mission of all Parent to Parent programs is to train “veteran” parents to be mentors to other parents of children with special needs. The Parent to Parent of the United States web site provides general information about Parent to Parent programs, as well as providing technical assistance on setting up a Parent to Parent program in your community.