U.S. Department of Education Launches Revamped IDEA Website

New IDEA Website header graphic

June 5 Update:

Thank you for taking the time to provide feedback regarding the new IDEA website. Please note:

  • The new website can be found at: https://sites.ed.gov/idea.
  • The Building the Legacy: IDEA 2004 site can still be found at: http://idea.ed.gov.
  • The Department of Education experienced latency issues across all ed.gov sites June 1-3. These latency issues caused links to timeout and documents to freeze. If you experience site delays, please let us know below.

The new and improved Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) website has arrived! During the last two months, more than 130 of you have taken the time to offer thoughtful feedback as to what you would like to see in a revamped IDEA website. Thank you for your important and informative comments.

With your input driving the project, the new site has:

  • Improved Site Navigation and Design
    You asked for a visually-appealing, easier-to-use site that reduces the number of clicks it takes to get you where you need to be. We’ve updated the design and worked to simplify the site’s interface to make locating information more intuitive to the user.
  • Expanded Search Options
    You asked that we keep the statute and regulation search capabilities from the Building the Legacy: IDEA 2004 site but also include a policy document search. We kept the search capabilities, but we updated the search to reflect the most recent statute and regulations. As many of you requested, the search also includes policy documents, such as Dear Colleague letters, OSEP memos, FAQs and policy letters.
  • Resources for Specific Audiences
    You asked that we highlight resources specific to various IDEA stakeholder groups. We’ve created resource pages specific to parents/families, educators/service providers, and grantees. For non-English speakers, we created a Language Support page that links to one of our grantee’s resources in Spanish, and we’ve provided additional information about the Department’s language assistance, which is offered in more than 170 languages.
  • Expanded Content with Streamlined Resources
    You asked that we expand content and streamline the site’s resources covering IDEA and other federal agency-related initiatives. We expanded our Topic Areas page to include more topics with updated information and links to reflect Department and Federal resources as well as resources from the Office of Special Education Programs-funded grantees. We’ve provided links to existing IDEA-related data reports, State Performance Plans/Annual Performance Reports and grant award letters. We’ve highlighted laws and resources related to individuals with disabilities that are under the jurisdiction of other Departments and Federal agencies. We’ve pulled together a list of frequently-used acronyms and terms.

Relevant content from the Legacy site has transitioned to the new IDEA site and the Legacy site will remain online while we continue to refine the new IDEA site.

We would like to get your feedback on the new IDEA website as we continue to develop and enhance the content and functionality.

Your feedback on the site is essential for helping us improve the Department’s online resources as part of our commitment to ensure that infants, toddlers, children and youth with disabilities and their families have the supports and services guaranteed under the IDEA.

View new IDEA Website


  1. I think this is a great resource for those both in the education fields and also for parents! Keep up the good work! I work with a private school in Minnesota, Bethany Academy,
    which is a private christian academy for k-12 students. Being a christian school, we are always looking for new ways to reach parents and young ones who want to incorporate these beliefs into the school/learning process. Therefore, websites and blogs such as this one are extremely helpful and appreciated. I want to know – what ways will this new website help those who work for private schools such as myself? What can I get from subscribing and reading?

  2. I am looking for information in regards to reading and special tutoring etc. provided my the school district and what my child is intitled to under the IDEA. I think this website is impossible to navigate. A bunch of procedure information not relating to real people issues. I would like cut and dry information on the rights my special needs childs has under the IDEA act and how it relates education.

  3. It is evident that much work went into this site. For educators, the information here is comprehensive and easy to find although at times, slow to download.

    As a parent, I find this site a bit more challenging. The language used could be challenging to some. I liked the glossary of terms, however, a parent would need to search for it and know what they are looking for.

    Thank you for allowing us to provide feedback – keep up the good work!

  4. The Regs have great breadcrumbs. Thanks! Very helpful. The Statutes don’t, and brief citations without a way to move backwards for more context aren’t useful. Results don’t show full source. Search “$500,000” and you’ll see what I mean.

  5. I’m sorry to read so many negative comments.

    For those working in Special Education, Keep up the good work.

    Work with the Child Study Teams and the student’s parent(s) for academic improvement.

    And finally, HELP the students find JOBS.

  6. There are countless documents posted, which is not very helpful. The one below is especially troubling to make any sense of. It’s not parent friendly and should be set up with general questions on the top working down to specific questions. It should be simplified for people without an education background to easily use clickable questions. You need lots of background knowledge to know what the questions are inferring. If this is the focus of your admin., make sure you are making it clear what your intentions are. This link is unacceptable.

    FAQ: Rights of Students with Disabilities in Public Charter Schools under the IDEA

  7. Please add a “Home” tab to the left of the “About” tab so that it is easier to navigate back to the home page for the IDEA web site. The only way currently to navigate back to the IDEA home page is the tiny little “Home” at the bottom of the page. It is hard to find and easy to overlook. Thanks

  8. I believe that the picture of the African American male should be joined by other racial and ethnic groups this singles out the black males which have been historically placed into special needs programs.

  9. Useless site.

    First thing to get squared is that charter schools are not public schools. They are not. They are privately owned.

    The Federal government does not get this, because they don’t want to.

    We live in a capitalistic USA.

    • I’m not a fan of many charter schools, but a large majority of them are public schools as well. The grants usually come from the state.

  10. I’m not impressed by anything this administration does. They are so out of touch with both the common citizen and the children. $9.2 billion cut from education programs is an absolute disgrace. Both Trump and DeVos should be ashamed. Absolutely ashamed.

  11. You nailed it with the new site! A major improvement. The only flaw is the incredibly long delays in downloading pdfs.

  12. Hopefully the US Government will appropriately fund these programs. The current system does not…all I see is cut, cut, cut…class sizes increase and the quality of education goes down. This is a all smoke and mirrors. Sad!

  13. I like the look of the new website, and it obviously involved a lot of work. Keep working at it. Some slow load times for guidance documents and Google Chrome has issues with the site’s links that involve “unsecure” URLs. Seems there are a few links that aren’t working at all.

    It’s a work in progress, but I am sure it will be humming in no time. So, I like it a lot, but a few tweaks needed.

  14. When this country was first founded there were very few “public” schools and the wealthy sent their boys to private boarding schools. There was little respect for the working class. It now appears that the country is back to its “original meanings”…. Quality education for the wealthy and marginal to poor education for the masses. It does NOT matter nor what it is called, the way it is formulated is a disaster for the masses.

  15. Re-packaging of information that was previously accessible and not, is still not accessible is still propaganda for this administration. How many times do you think we will stand for this. Please make this information accessible for children and families!

  16. The links within the site do not even work. Going “live” with dead links makes zero sense, except to reinforce the suspicion that this “new” DOE could not care less about the disabled student population in the public schools or, perhaps, public schools in general. What’s your agenda, here, Trump and Devos? Do you care about anything besides promoting “charters and so-called (fake) choice” and lining the pockets of private predator investors looking to eviscerate public education? I am disappointed in this website, but I guess I am not surprised.

  17. This new site pushes charter schools, and does not provide the resources the previous site contained. Bring back the old site, PLEASE!!!!!!

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