History Of Special Education Essay

1108 words - 5 pages

History of Special Education
Cherri Eurich
Grand Canyon University: SPE-526

Understanding the history of special education is necessary to grasp its value today. After the 1970’s it was decided there was a growing need for reform when it came to educating children with disabilities. Over the years there have been many pieces of legislation introduced to aid in improving our nation’s special education program. Perhaps one of the most important, being the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

As early as 1970, people began to recognize the need for educational legislation on behalf of students with disabilities. ...view middle of the document...

It is used to help prevent new cases (Heward, 2009).
Teaching is always the key. Our children have to be taught. Special education is essential in ensuring that all students get the same opportunities, benefits and advantages that education can provide.
Special Education Legislation
All children were in need of equal protection and equal rights under the law when it came to their education. Before the 1970, schools were able to deny admittance to students who had disabilities. Once it was determined that the public school system should take on the responsibility of educating all students, however, early on it let to segregation in the schools. Brown vs, the Board of Education ruled that all children should have education on equal terms (Heward, 2009).
One of the most important pieces of education legislation was the introduction of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. When IDEA passed in 1975 it brought together all the laws at the time with regards to educating students with disabilities (Heward, 2009). IDEA is built upon six major principles including the following:
1. Zero Reject: Zero reject presented the idea that all children with disabilities should be educated. It maintained that this should be accomplished regardless of the severity of the disability.
2. Nondiscriminatory identification and evaluation: Schools must be non biased and use multifactor methods when determining if a child does indeed have a disability and if they are in need of special programs.
3. Free appropriate public education: All special education students should receive free education at the public’s expense. In addition, an IEP must be created to address the student’s individual needs and concerns.
4. Least restrictive environment: Students with disabilities must be education with students without disabilities. When it is necessary, the students have to be moved to a separate classroom to accommodate any additional needs.
5. Due process safeguards: Students with disabilities and their parents’ rights should be protected. Safeguards should be put into place to ensure their safety.
6. Parent and student participation and shared decision making: Schools and parents must collaborate when it comes to designing and implementing an educational plan (Heward, 2009).
IDEA also set a requirement that meant schools must provide services to children between three and five with disabilities. Provisions must be made to ensure that disabled students gain and benefit from their education (Heward, 2009).
IDEA is also tied in with other important education legislation including No Child Left...

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