The federal government has enacted laws to ensure the educational rights of children with disabilities. Below you will find information on some of this important legislation.
*Requirements for Special Education Services during COVID*
It is a very confusing time for parents/guardians whose children receive special education services. F.A.C.T. advocates have been keeping updated on all the guidance from the Federal government as well as Missouri’s Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Please see this Tip Sheet from our friends at the St. Louis Arc for information you can use to help guide you through this difficult time. If you need additional assistance, please contact F.A.C.T. Educational Advocacy services.
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)
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 agencies provide early intervention, special education and related services to more than 6.5 million eligible infants, toddlers, children and youth with disabilities. Infants and toddlers with disabilities (birth-2) and their families receive early intervention services under IDEA Part C. Children, and youth (ages 3-21) receive special education and related services under IDEA Part B. Visit http://idea.ed.gov for more information on IDEA.
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
Section 504 is a federal law designed to protect the rights of individuals with disabilities in programs and activities that receive Federal financial assistance from the U.S. Department of Education (ED). Section 504 provides: “No otherwise qualified individual with a disability in the United States . . . shall, solely by reason of her or his disability, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance . . . .” Find out more about Section 504 here.
The Americans with Disabilities Act
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law on July 26, 1990, by President George H.W. Bush. The ADA is one of America’s most comprehensive pieces of civil rights legislation that prohibits discrimination and guarantees that people with disabilities have the same opportunities as everyone else to participate in the mainstream of American life — to enjoy employment opportunities, to purchase goods and services, and to participate in State and local government programs and services. Find out more about the ADA here.
Office for Civil Rights (OCR)
The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) ensures equal access to education and to promote educational excellence throughout the nation through vigorous enforcement of civil rights. It serves student populations facing discrimination and the advocates and institutions promoting systemic solutions to civil rights problems. An important responsibility is resolving complaints of discrimination. Learn more about the Office for Civil Rights here.
Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP)
The Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) is part of the U.S. Department of Education. OSEP provides leadership and financial support to assist states, and local districts improve results for children from birth to age 21. Its mission is to protect the educational rights of children with disabilities. OSEP administers the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Find out more about OSEP here.