public education

IDEA: Access to Public Education for Disabled Children

IDEA: Access to Public Education for Disabled Children

I don't remember everything about being five years old, but I do remember kindergarten. I remember story-time, and recess. I remember how much I loved to do coloring and read my first books. I also remember my mom and I having to go to special meetings with the principal and my teacher. Even though I didn't understand everything they were talking about, I understood enough to know these were meetings that other kids didn't have.

When you hear phrases like, "Jody's special" or "Jody needs her own desk, but don't make a big deal about it", or "be careful of Jody at recess, she can't get knocked over by other kids," you hear your name a lot, and realize that must mean something, even though you don't understand exactly what.

Of course I now know what all that was about. I was benefiting from IDEA: The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. You probably haven't heard of IDEA, but millions of disabled children have had equal and integrated educations thanks to this law. More specifically, it is the most important piece of civil rights legislation for children with disabilities ever passed in this country. It authorizes federal aid to meet the educational needs of children with disabilities and provides due process rights to parents.