IDEA—45 Years Later

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Nov. 29, 2020, marks the 45th anniversary of President Gerald Ford signing the Education for All Handicapped Children Act (Public Law 94-142) into law. The 1990 amendment to Public Law 94-142 changed the law’s name to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

Join the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) and the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) the week of Nov. 30, 2020, as the Department of Education celebrates 45 years of providing education, supports and services to infants, toddlers, children and youth with disabilities and their families through the IDEA.

Additionally, follow OSERS on Twitter to celebrate 45 years of IDEA.

Celebrating IDEA 45th Anniversary with Mark Schultz and Laurie VanderPloeg

Celebrating the IDEA 45th Anniversary with Mark Schultz and Laurie VanderPloeg. IDEA 45 #IDEA45Years RSA Commissioner Mark Schultz, delegated the authority to perform the functions and duties of the Assistant Secretary for OSERS, and OSEP Director Laurie VanderPloeg discuss the past, present and future of the IDEA.

History

The IDEA has experienced numerous changes over the years in an effort to better support infants, toddlers, children and youth with disabilities. Find out more about the history of IDEA.

OSEP Fast Facts: IDEA 45th Anniversary

OSEP Fast Facts: IDEA 45th Anniversary. IDEA 45. #IDEA45Years The newest OSEP Fast Facts highlights key changes to the IDEA during the last 45 years as well as facts and figures related to infants, toddlers, children, and youth with disabilities and teachers and services providers.

Blogs

Image of Michael Norman

IDEA Deserves Our Continued Passion, Advocacy and Support

Michael Norman started an internship with the National Association of State Directors of Special Education in 1976, shortly after the Education for All Handicapped Children Act was signed into law. Learn how he has since spent his career as a special education advocate.

Video Stories

Idaho Celebrates 45 Years of IDEA. IDEA 45. #IDEA45Years

Idaho Celebrates 45 Years of the IDEA

Dr. Charlie Silvia and Jeff Brandt celebrate 45 years of the IDEA. Join them as they look at education for Idaho students with disabilities before IDEA and now with examples from two families.

OSEP Fast Facts: IDEA 45th Anniversary

OSEP Fast Facts: IDEA 45th Anniversary. IDEA 45. #IDEA45Years The newest OSEP Fast Facts highlights key changes to the IDEA during the last 45 years as well as facts and figures related to infants, toddlers, children, and youth with disabilities and teachers and services providers.

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Videos

Play button over top of: Celebrating 45 Years of the IDEA. IDEA 45 #IDEA45Years

Celebrating 45 Years of IDEA: Anniversary Video

The newest OSEP Fast Facts highlights key changes to the IDEA during the last 45 years as well as facts and figures related to infants, toddlers, children, and youth with disabilities and teachers and services providers.

This video was first developed for the Celebration of the 35th Anniversary to document the history of IDEA. While the critical message the video conveys are still historically accurate, the data points have changed in the past 10 years. Below are the updated data points as of 2020:

  • The number infants, toddlers, children and youth with disabilities from birth through age 21 served under the IDEA has increased from 3,694,000 in the 1976-77 school year to 7,539,553 in the 2018-19 school year.
  • In 2018-19, 95% of students with disabilities were educated in a school. More than 6 million students with disabilities received services in a general education classroom at least part of the day.
  • The number of infant and toddlers served under IDEA, Part C has increased from 154,065 in 1993-94 to 410,887 in 2018-19.
  • The percent of students with disabilities exiting school ages 14 through 21 who graduated with a regular diploma has increased from 52% in the 1994-95 school year to 72.7% in the 2017-18 school year.
  • The percent of students with disabilities exiting school ages 14 through 21 who dropped out has decreased from 34% in the 1994-95 school year to 16% in the 2017-18 school year.

Severe Discrepancy

Last modified on November 30, 2020