Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is a law that makes available to all eligible children with disabilities a free appropriate public education (FAPE).
What IDEA does:
- Makes sure eligible children can receive special education and related services
- Ensures services meet individual needs
- Protects children with disabilities and their parents
- Gives teachers and parents the right tools to help children with disabilities grow in their education
The process of IDEA includes an initial evaluation, child and parent input, and an Individual Education Plan (IEP) or Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP), when appropriate. The IEP should address any rights and protections granted by IDEA. For more information, visit the Kansas Interagency Coordinating Council or Families Together, Inc.
IDEA is commonly divided into four parts:
- Part A, which covers the general provisions from the statute
- Part B, which focuses on children with disabilities age 3-21
- Part C, which addresses early intervention services for infants and toddlers and their families
- Part D, which provides federal grants to help improve services for children with disabilities
Early intervention refers to services and support for young children who have a disability or developmental delay. Available services may include physical therapy, speech therapy, or other services based on need. Research shows that early intervention can make a big difference on a child’s success in life.
The Kansas Early Childhood Developmental Services are overseen by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE). Evaluation and assessment, parent report, and clinical opinion determine eligibility. Available services delivered in the child’s natural environment focus on both the child and the family. You may commonly hear them referred to as Infant Toddler Services or Tiny-K.
The Kansas State Department of Education has resources and information for families. For this age group, services focus on how a child’s delay may affect their ability to learn. The initial evaluation uses a variety of tools and strategies to gather the necessary information for planning how to help children progress in their education.