IDEA, the Individual with Disabilities Education Act, is our nation’s special education law. The IDEA guides
how states, school districts, and public agencies provide early intervention, special education and related services to
more than 6.5 million eligible infants, toddlers, children and youth with disabilities. The ADA protects the civil
rights of people with disabilities in all aspects of employment, in accessing public services such as transportation,
and guaranteeing access to public accommodations such as restaurants, stores, hotels and other types of buildings to
which the public has access.
There are six principals that the IDEA law has done to help students with ...view middle of the document...
Expanded flexibility and local control of schools
3. An emphasis on teaching methods based on scientific research
4. Expanded options for parents, particularly those whose children attend low-performing schools
5. Highly qualified teachers
6. Safe schools
Section 504 is civil rights legislation for persons with disabilities. It prohibits discrimination against individuals
who meet the definition of disability in the act, and it is applied to entities that receive federal funding. Wegner
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stated that the primary objective of Congress in enacting Section 504 was to "honor the requirements of 'simple
justice' by ensuring that federal funds not be expended in a discriminatory fashion. The ADA is civil rights
legislation for individuals with disabilities. Unlike Section 504, the ADA applies to almost every entity in the United
States, regardless of whether it receives federal funds; churches and private clubs are the only two entities that are
exempt from the ADA. Therefore, private schools that are not associated with a religious organization have to
comply with the provisions of the ADA (Smith, T., 2001).
Finally, general education teachers are usually at the forefront of suspecting that a student has
a disability. It is usually the teacher or the parent that begins to notice that the student is not
performing at the same level of the other students. Teachers need...