This is an old version of the DREDF site and is no longer being updated.
Visit the current site.


Individuals with Disabilities Education Act


The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is the most important piece of civil rights legislation for children with disabilities ever passed in this country. Prior to its passage in 1975, at least one million children with disabilities in the United States were denied any public education, and at least four million more were segregated from their non-disabled peers. IDEA is the primary federal law that governs Individualized Educational Programs (IEPs) and the special education process. IDEA guarantees children with disabilities a free, appropriate public education (FAPE) in the least restrictive environment (LRE). IDEA was reauthorized in 2004 and its implementing regulations were released in August 2006.


To read more about DREDF's IDEA cases, go to Legal Advocacy.


Through our federally-funded Parent Training and Information Center, DREDF provides trainings on IDEA and related issues for parents and professionals. For more information on our work on behalf of children with disabilities and their families go to Children and Family Advocacy.


DREDF IDEA Articles, Papers and Analyses


A Comparison of ADA, IDEA, and Section 504.


Mental Health Services for Children with Disabilities: the Story in California.


To learn more about the IDEA: