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Special Education Legislation (updated July 2003)

How has federal legislation on disabilities affected the field of special education?

In the past students with disabilities were removed from mainstream classrooms rather than being included in publicly supported education programs. Some states had laws that permitted public schools to deny admission to these children. Gradually, in the seventies, public schools began educating children with disabilities, but usually in a separate class or facility. In 1972 the Pennsylvania Association for Retarded Children (PARC) challenged a law in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania denying a public school education to children with mental retardation and other disabilities. The court ruled that children with mental retardation were entitled to a free, appropriate public education (FAPE), preferably in the regular classroom. This case and other cases led to Public Law 94-142, the Education for All Handicapped Children Act, in 1975. P.L. 94-142 was the predecessor to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). IDEA and its amendments, especially those enacted in 1997, have had a profound impact on special education in the United States.

Following are selected citations from the ERIC database and the search terms we used to find the citations.


You can search the ERIC database yourself on the Internet through either of the following web sites:

ERIC Citations

The full text of citations beginning with an ED number (for example, EDxxxxxx) is available:

  • In microfiche collections worldwide; to find your nearest ERIC Resource Collection, point your web browser to: http://ericae.net/derc.htm.
  • For a fee through the ERIC Document Reproduction Service (EDRS): http://edrs.com, service@edrs.com, or 1.800.443.ERIC. (no longer available)

The full text of citations beginning with an EJ number (for example, EJxxxxxx) is available for a fee from:

ERIC Search Terms Used

disabilities! OR special education

AND

federal legislation

EJ571749 EA534876
Special Education: A Legal History and Overview.
Russo, Charles J.; Morse, Timothy E.; Glancy, Marian C.
School Business Affairs; v64 n8 p8-12 Aug 1998
ISSN-0036-651X
Language: English
Document Type: JOURNAL ARTICLE (080); LEGAL MATERIAL (090); EVALUATIVE REPORT (142)
Journal Announcement: CIJMAY1999
Historically, it was more convenient to remove the disabled from the social mainstream than to integrate them in schools or provide jobs or training. This article traces progress made by case law and federal legislation, including the 1975 Education for All Handicapped Children Act, 1973 Rehabilitation Act (Section 504), and 1990 Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and 1997 amendments. Descriptors: *Court Litigation; *Disabilities; *Educational History; *Federal Legislation; *Mainstreaming; Elementary Secondary Education; Eligibility; Equal Education; Special Education
Identifiers: Case Law; Education for All Handicapped Children Act; *Individuals with Disabilities Education Act; Legislative History; Rehabilitation Act 1973 (Section 504)

EJ635086 EC628731
Reflections on the 25th Anniversary of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
Katsiyannis, Antonis; Yell, Mitchell L.; Bradley, Renee
Remedial and Special Education; v22 n6 p324-34 Nov-Dec 2001
ISSN-0741-9325
NOTE: Special Issue: Legal Issues in Special Education.
Language: English
Document Type: JOURNAL ARTICLE (080); POSITION PAPER (120)
Journal Announcement: CIJAPR2002
Reflections on the 25-year history of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) first presents the litigable and legislative developments that led to the passage of IDEA, then examines the law itself and the litigation interpreting IDEA, and finally discusses the direction that IDEA may take over the next 25 years. Descriptors: *Court Litigation; *Disabilities; *Educational History; *Educational Legislation; *Federal Legislation; Educational Trends; Elementary Secondary Education; Trend Analysis
Identifiers: *Individuals with Disabilities Education Act

EJ604969 EC624625
The Beginnings of Federal Help for Young Children with Disabilities.
Gallagher, James J.
Topics in Early Childhood Special Education; v20 n1 p3-6 Spr 2000
ISSN-0271-1214
Language: English
Document Type: JOURNAL ARTICLE (080)
Journal Announcement: CIJOCT2000
This article traces the development of federal involvement in early childhood education and intervention. It discusses the influences of the Head Start Program, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, court decisions that clarified the right of all children to equal education opportunities, and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
Descriptors: *Court Litigation; *Disabilities; *Early Identification; *Early Intervention; *Educational History; *Federal Legislation; Early Childhood Education; Educational Legislation; Equal Education; Federal Programs; Preschool Education
Identifiers: Elementary Secondary Education Act; Individuals with Disabilities Education Act; Project Head Start

EJ601269 EA536933
Ten Events That Shaped Special Education's Century of Dramatic Change.
Morse, Timothy E.
ISSN-1056-7879
Language: English
Document Type: JOURNAL ARTICLE (080); POSITION PAPER (120)
Journal Announcement: CIJAUG2000
International Journal of Educational Reform; v9 n1 p32-38 Jan 2000
Special education's progress was shaped by establishment of the Cuyahoga County Ohio Council for the Retarded Child (1933); the Education for All Handicapped Children Act (1975), "Brown v. Board of Education" (1954); "Sacramento City Unified School District v. Rachel H." (1994); coinage of "learning disabilities" (1963); and five other events. Descriptors: *Child Advocacy; *Court Litigation; *Educational History; *Federal Legislation; *Special Education; Elementary Secondary Education
Identifiers: Brown v Board of Education; Council for Exceptional Children; *Education for All Handicapped Children Act; Individuals with Disabilities Education Act; *Legal History

ED333665 EC300421
The Americans with Disabilities Act: Educational Implications and Policy Considerations.
Cunconan-Lahr, Robin
Apr 1991
31p.; Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the Council for Exceptional Children (69th, Atlanta, GA, April 1-5, 1991).
EDRS Price - MF01/PC02 Plus Postage.
Language: English
Document Type: CONFERENCE PAPER (150); REVIEW LITERATURE (070)
Geographic Source: U.S.; Iowa
Journal Announcement: RIENOV91
This paper provides a historical and current perspective on civil rights and public education of students with disabilities, and offers an overview of the five sections of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (employment, public services, accommodations and services operated by private entities, telecommunications relay services, and miscellaneous provisions). It summarizes the relationship between the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. The paper then identifies issues in achieving integration for all of society's citizens and discusses their impact on education and their policy considerations. These issues include transitions to employment and other postsecondary activities, the disability rights movement, educational reform, and the need for all society's members to have a true sense of value.
Descriptors: *Civil Rights; *Disabilities; Educational Change; Educational History; Educational Legislation; Education Work Relationship; Elementary Secondary Education; Employment; *Federal Legislation; Mainstreaming; Postsecondary Education; Public Education; Public Facilities; *Public Policy; *Social Integration; Student Rights; Telecommunications; Transitional Programs; Values
Identifiers: *Americans with Disabilities Act 1990

ED373469 EC303237
Historical Overview. Fiscal Provisions of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Policy Paper Number 2.
Verstegen, Deborah A.
American Institutes for Research in the Behavioral Sciences, Palo Alto, CA. Center for Special Education Finance.
Jun 1994
47p.; For policy issues and alternatives, see EC 303 238.
Sponsoring Agency: Special Education Programs (ED/OSERS), Washington, DC.
Contract No: H159G20002
EDRS Price - MF01/PC02 Plus Postage.
Language: English
Document Type: REVIEW LITERATURE (070); POSITION PAPER (120)
Geographic Source: U.S.; California
Journal Announcement: RIEJAN95
This paper is the first in a three-part series on the fiscal provisions of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). It provides a brief overview, history, and related background information on the major federal special education funding programs, including basic state grants under Part B of the IDEA (which require participating states to furnish all children with disabilities a free appropriate public education in the least restrictive setting) and state grants under Part H to support early intervention for eligible infants, toddlers, and their families. An analysis of the historical background of the programs provides a record of Congressional intent concerning the numerous fiscal provisions of the Act and the purposes originally set forth in the law. The paper concludes that the provisions of the Act, originally enacted in 1975 as Public Law 94-142, have remained remarkably resilient and are essentially intact as authorized. Additional provisions have been added for infants and toddlers, disability categories have been expanded, and minor revisions have been made to further refine and update the law. Descriptors: *Disabilities; Early Childhood Education; Early Intervention; *Educational Finance; *Educational History; *Educational Legislation; Educational Policy; Elementary Secondary Education; Federal Legislation; *Federal Programs; *Government Role; Mainstreaming; Special Education
Identifiers: *Individuals with Disabilities Education Act

EJ511764 EC612227
Part H Early Intervention Program: Legislative History and Intent of the Law.
Florian, Lani
Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, v15 n3 p247-62 Fall 1995
Theme issue: "The P.L. 99-457 Part H Early Intervention Program."
ISSN: 0271-1214
Language: English
Document Type: JOURNAL ARTICLE (080); REVIEW LITERATURE (070)
Journal Announcement: CIJFEB96
This article reviews the legislative history of Public Law 99-457, the Education of the Handicapped Act Amendments of 1986, which created a new program of early intervention services for infants and toddlers with disabilities. The unique features of Part H are considered in the context of current uncertainty about its future.
Descriptors: *Disabilities; *Early Intervention; Educational History; *Educational Legislation; *Educational Policy; *Federal Legislation; Infants; Preschool Education; Toddlers
Identifiers: *Education of the Handicapped Act Amendments 1986

EJ459621 EC605276
The Individualized Education Program: A Retrospective Critique.
Goodman, Joan F.; Bond, Lori
Journal of Special Education, v26 n4 p408-22 Win 1993
ISSN: 0022-4669
Language: English
Document Type: JOURNAL ARTICLE (080); POSITION PAPER (120)
Journal Announcement: CIJJUL93
This article reviews the initial purposes of the Individualized Education Program in its historical context as legislated by Public Law 94-142; traces its unintended molding influence on instruction and individualization; and considers how provisions for individualization, accountability, and parent participation can be achieved while preserving flexibility in instruction and evaluation of achievement.
Descriptors: Accountability; Compliance (Legal); *Disabilities; Educational Change; *Educational History; Educational Legislation; Elementary Secondary Education; Federal Legislation; *Individualized Education Programs; Influences; Parent Participation; *Student Educational Objectives; *Student Evaluation
Identifiers: Education for All Handicapped Children Act

EJ437649 EC601927
Federal Early Childhood Special Education Policy: A Model for the Improvement of Services for Children with Disabilities.
Hebbeler, Kathleen M.; And Others
Exceptional Children, v58 n2 p104-12 Oct-Nov 1991
Special Issue: Trends and Issues in Early Intervention.
ISSN: 0014-4029
Language: English
Document Type: JOURNAL ARTICLE (080); PROJECT DESCRIPTION (141); POSITION PAPER (120)
Journal Announcement: CIJMAY92
This paper reviews the evolution and the accomplishments of federal education policy in early childhood for children with disabilities. The review covers the period from 1968 to 1990, including the development of the Handicapped Children's Early Education Program, the Early Childhood Research Institutes, and Part H of Public Law 99-457. Descriptors: *Disabilities; *Early Childhood Education; *Educational History; Educational Legislation; *Educational Policy; *Federal Legislation; Federal Programs; Models; Public Policy; *Special Education
Identifiers: Education of the Handicapped Act 1986 (Part H)

ED401700 EC305202
The Education of Children and Youth with Special Needs: What Do the Laws Say? Interim Update.
Horne, Richard L.
National Information Center for Children and Youth with Handicaps, Washington, DC.
NICHCY News Digest Oct 1996
15p.; For earlier edition, see ED 333 640.
Sponsoring Agency: Academy for Educational Development, Inc., Washington, D.C.; Special Education Programs (ED/OSERS), Washington, DC.
Contract No: H030A30003
Available From: NICHCY, P.O. Box 1492, Washington, DC 20013-1492; telephone: 800-695-0285; e-mail: nichcy@aed.org.
EDRS Price - MF01/PC01 Plus Postage.
Language: English
Document Type: PROJECT DESCRIPTION (141); NON-CLASSROOM MATERIAL (055); SERIAL (022) Geographic Source: U.S.; District of Columbia
Journal Announcement: RIEAPR97
This newsletter issue reviews the educational and civil rights of children and youth with disabilities through the age of 21, with summaries of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and related federal legislation. Noted are unresolved problems in the reauthorization of IDEA and the permanent authorization of requirements mandating the Individualized Education Program (IEP) and procedural safeguards. The last 25 years of federal education laws and court cases are examined. The major provisions of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, IDEA, and the Carl D. Perkins Vocational Education Act are summarized. A final section provides brief reviews of the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act, the Handicapped Children's Protection Act of 1986, the Temporary Child Care for Handicapped Children and Crisis Nurseries Act of 1986, the Developmental Disabilities and Bill of Rights Act Amendments of 1987, the Technology-Related Assistance for Individuals with Disabilities Act of 1988, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. A general discussion of state laws relating to children and youth with disabilities is also provided. A listing of 27 print resources and 15 organizations is attached.
Descriptors: Access to Education; *Civil Rights; Compliance (Legal); Court Litigation; *Disabilities; Educational History; *Educational Legislation; Elementary Secondary Education; Equal Education; Federal Aid; *Federal Legislation; Parent Rights; Preschool Education; Public Education; Special Education; State Legislation; *Student Rights
Identifiers: Individuals with Disabilities Education Act

EJ531749 UD519510
The Legislative and Litigation History of Special Education.
Martin, Edwin W.; And Others
Future of Children, v6 n1 p25-39 Spr 1996
Theme issue topic: "Special Education for Students with Disabilities."
ISSN: 1054-8289
Language: English
Document Type: PROJECT DESCRIPTION (141); JOURNAL ARTICLE (080)
Journal Announcement: CIJFEB97
Presents a historical overview of state and federal legislation concerning special education, describes how court litigation has defined the constitutional rights of the disabled to access education, and outlines the provisions of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The procedural safeguards of the IDEA also are outlined, including placement, classroom environment considerations, and provisions for preschoolers.
Descriptors: *Access to Education; Civil Rights; Constitutional Law; Court Litigation; *Disability Discrimination; *Educational Legislation; Elementary Secondary Education; *Equal Education; Federal Legislation; Government Role; Individualized Programs; *Mainstreaming; Preschool Children; Public Schools; *Special Education
Identifiers: *Individuals with Disabilities Education Act

ED367079 EC302780
The Federal Government and Higher Education for Students with Disabilities.
Ryan, Dan
8 Dec 1993
28p.
EDRS Price - MF01/PC02 Plus Postage.
Language: English
Document Type: REVIEW LITERATURE (070)
Geographic Source: U.S.; New York
Journal Announcement: RIEJUL94
This paper traces the involvement of the federal government (through subsidy, regulation, judicial, and administrative agency activity) in the education of students with disabilities at the elementary, secondary, and higher education levels. Government involvement through subsidy in the 19th century was usually in the form of establishing special schools, including what is now Gallaudet University for students with hearing impairments. Higher education opportunities offered to students with disabilities were again expanded as a result of the G.I. Bill of Rights following World War II. Government involvement through regulation has included the Education for All Handicapped Children Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Finally, government involvement through the judicial branch has affected postsecondary education of students with disabilities in such cases as Brown versus Board of Education of Topeka and a number of cases concerning Section 504. Issues addressed by some of these cases include: (1) faculty academic freedom versus the student's right to appropriate accommodation, (2) course examinations, (3) provision of deaf interpreting services, and (4) the extent of accommodations required. Finally, government involvement through administrative agencies has included actions of the Department of Education Office of Civil Rights.
Descriptors: Accessibility (for Disabled); College Students; Court Litigation; Deafness; *Disabilities; *Educational History; Educational Legislation; Elementary Secondary Education; Federal Aid; *Federal Government; Federal Regulation; *Government Role; *Government School Relationship; *Higher Education
Identifiers: Gallaudet University DC

ED332451 EC300314
Laws Affecting Children with Special Needs: Selected Federal Statutes and Regulations.
Walsh, Sharon, Comp.; McKenna, Patricia, Comp.
1990
465p.
Available From: LRP Publications, 747 Dresher Rd., P.O. Box 980, Horsham, PA 19044-0980 ($65.00 plus $3.50 shipping and handling).
EDRS Price - MF01 Plus Postage. PC Not Available from EDRS.
Language: English
Document Type: LEGAL MATERIAL (090); REVIEW LITERATURE (070)
Geographic Source: U.S.; Pennsylvania
Journal Announcement: RIEOCT91
Target Audience: Practitioners; Administrators
The book presents the complete texts of federal statutes and parallel regulations for the following laws affecting children with special needs: Education of the Handicapped Act, Part A-Part H; three programs under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act--Chapter 1, Disadvantaged; Chapter 1, Even Start; and Chapter 1, Handicapped; the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act; Head Start Act; Comprehensive Child Development Act; Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act; and selected sections of the General Education Provisions Act. Regulations address such aspects as the following: definitions; intergovernmental reviews; uniform administrative requirements for grants and cooperative agreements; family educational rights and privacy; nondiscrimination on the basis of handicap; Chapter 1 programs in local educational agencies; assistance to states for education of handicapped children; preschool grants for handicapped children; early intervention programs for infants and toddlers with handicaps; removal of architectural barriers; regional resource and federal centers; services for deaf-blind children and youth; handicapped children's early education program; the program for severely handicapped children; training personnel for the education of the handicapped; clearinghouses for the handicapped; research in education of the handicapped; secondary education and transitional services; educational medical loan service; postsecondary education programs; Head Start; formula grant programs; and the University Affiliated Program.
Descriptors: Compliance (Legal); Developmental Disabilities; *Disabilities; Disadvantaged; *Educational Legislation; Elementary Secondary Education; Federal Aid; *Federal Legislation; *Federal Regulation; Federal State Relationship; Government Role; Grants; Preschool Education; Rehabilitation
Identifiers: Comprehensive Child Development Act 1971; Developmental Disabled Assist Bill of Rights Act; Education for All Handicapped Children Act; Elementary Secondary Education Act; General Education Provisions Act 1974; Project Head Start; Rehabilitation Act 1973 (Section 504)

ED349783 EC301530
The Americans with Disabilities Act: New Challenges and Opportunities for School Administrators.
National Association of State Directors of Special Education, Alexandria, VA.
Liaison Bulletin, v18 n4 Jun 1992 Jun 1992
10p.
Available From: National Association of State Directors of Special Education, Inc. (NASDSE), 1800 Diagonal Rd., Suite 320, Alexandria, VA 22314 ($50/year subscription).
EDRS Price - MF01/PC01 Plus Postage.
Language: English
Document Type: SERIAL (022)
Geographic Source: U.S.; Virginia
Journal Announcement: RIEFEB93
This bulletin addresses challenges facing school administrators and local and state officials in implementing the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The purpose of the ADA is stated, and dates that various provisions become effective are noted. The relationship of the ADA to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act is explored. Categories of individuals protected under the ADA are described. The ADA is then examined by title. Title I on employment focuses on determination of essential job functions in the education field, provision of reasonable accommodations, and use of medical examinations and drug testing. Title II on public services discusses prohibition of discrimination by state and local governments in provision of special education services, and enforcement by the Office for Civil Rights. Title III on public accommodations and services operated by private entities explores such discrimination as denial of participation or participation in unequal benefit, and the implications of these provisions for both public and private schools. Subsequent sections note the implications of Title IV on telecommunications and Title V which excludes from ADA persons engaged in illegal drug use. A section of general implications and recommendations concludes the bulletin. Descriptors: Access to Education; Civil Rights; *Civil Rights Legislation; Compliance (Legal); *Disabilities; Drug Use; Elementary Secondary Education; Employment; Equal Education; Equal Opportunities (Jobs); *Federal Legislation; *Handicap Discrimination; *Legal Responsibility; Private Schools; Public Schools; School Responsibility; Special Education; Teacher Rights; Telecommunications
Identifiers: *Americans with Disabilities Act 1990
 

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