Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Special Education Law

Earlier this month, I had the opportunity to attend a Related-Services Academy offered by my employer (Shelby County Schools) that was led by Dr. Wendy Ashcroft, at Christian Brothers University here in Memphis. Our group of therapists was given a thorough review of the Individuals with Disabilities Act, as well as some great information on Applied Behavior Analysis and evidence-based practice for serving children with Autism. It was such a great experience, I've decided to share some of the information with you!

Review of Sped Law:
-In 1975, Congress passed the Education for All Handicapped Children Act 
-In 1990, this act was amended to become the Individuals with Disabilities Act (I.D.E.A.)
-The most recent amendments to I.D.E.A. were signed into law by President Clinton in 1997 and President Bush in 2004. 
-Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvements Act provisions took effect on July 1, 2005.

There are Six Major Principles to the Special Education Law in the United States:
1) Zero Reject - the right of every child to be included in a free appropriate publicly-supported education system.
2) Non-Discriminatory Evaluation- the child's right to be fairly evaluated so correct educational programs and placement can be achieved.
3) Individualized Educational Program- the child's right to have a meaningful education
4) Least Restrictive Environment- the child's right to associate with nondisabled students to the maximum extent appropriate to his or her needs.
5) Due Process- the child's right to challenge any aspect of the educational program.
6) Parent Participation- the child's right to have the family involved in decisions about his or her educational program.

Photo credit: Stuart Miles @ freedigitalphotos.net

Notes from Related Service Academy, Christian Brothers University, Facilitator: Dr. Wendy Ashcroft, June 2011.

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