IDEA 2004

Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (IDEA04)

“The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is a law ensuring services to children with disabilities throughout the nation. IDEA governs how states and public agegncies provide early intervention, special education and related services to more than 6.5 million eligible infants, toddlers, children and youth with disabilities.” from

IDEA04 is the federal law that governs the provision of special education services for children with disabilities.  IDEA04 ensures a free and appropriate public education (FAPE) in the least restrictive environment (LRE) for all children with disabilities ages 3 through 21.  LRE means that to the maximum extent possible, children with disabilities are educated with children who are not disabled.  Special classes or separate schools that remove the child with disabilities from the regular educational environment only occur when the nature or the severity of the child’s disability is such that education with the use of supplementary aids and services cannot be achieved satisfactorily in a regular education class.  Placement in the LRE is not only a legal mandate, but also an educational philosophy that endorses the inclusion of all students, not only in the academic setting, but also in any and all school-related activities.

Children and youth (ages 3-21) receive special education and related services under IDEA Part B. Infants and toddlers with disabilities (birth -2)and their families receive early intervention services under IDEA Part C.

IDEA describes the provision of special education and related services to meet the unique needs of students with disabilities.

The term related services means -  “…transportation and such developmental, corrective, and other supportive services (including speech-language pathology and audiology services, interpreting services, psychological services, physical and occupational therapy, recreation, including therapeutic recreation, social work services, school nurse services designed to enable a child with a disability to receive a free appropriate public education as described in the individualized education program of the child, counseling services, including rehabilitation counseling, orientation and mobility services, and medical services, except that such medical services shall be for diagnostic and evaluation purposes only) as may be required to assist a child with a disability to benefit from special education, and includes the early identification and assessment of disabling conditions in children. [SEC. 602(26)(A)]

Under IDEA04, occupational therapy is defined as “…services provided by a qualified occupational therapist; and includes”: [300.34(c)(6)]

  1. “Improving, developing, or restoring functions impaired or lost through illness, injury, or deprivation”
  2. “Improving ability to perform tasks for independent functioning if functions are impaired or lost”; and
  3. “Preventing, through early intervention, initial or further impairment or loss of function”.
Check our the new IDEA website: This site has a tremendous amount of resources related to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 2004.

IDEA eligible disability categories include:

  • Autism,
  • Deaf-blindness,
  • Deafness,
  • Emotional disturbance,
  • Hearing impairment,
  • Mental retardation,
  • Multiple disabilities,
  • Orthopedic impairment,
  • Other health impairment (e.g., asthma, attention deficit disorder or attention deficit Hyperactivity disorder, diabetes, epilepsy, heart condition, hemophilia, lead poisoning, leukemia, nephritis, rheumatic fever, sickle cell anemia and Tourette syndrome),
  • Specific learning disability, (e.g., Perceptual Disabilities, Brain Injury, Minimal Brain Dysfunction, Dyslexia, Developmental Aphasia),
  • Speech or language impairment,
  • Traumatic brain injury,
  • Visual impairment (including blindness), and
  • Developmental delay.
Least Restrictive Environment(LRE) means....
SPED classroom/placement occurs only when nature or severity of disability is such that even with supplementary aids & services, education cannot be satisfactorily achieved in regular education environment. LRE means that to the extent appropriate, children with disabilities are educated with children who are not disabled.


How many schools do you cover?

one - 9.7%
two - 32.3%
three - 25.8%
four - 12.9%
five or more - 19.4%

Total votes: 31
The voting for this poll has ended on: November 17, 2013

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