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The Implementation of Special Education Laws (Essay Sample)


Watch the two short videos below, from a collection entitled “Finding a Way”. The first provides a concise history of educating children who have disabilities and the second summarizes ways in which public schools have taken a lead role in integrating individuals with disabilities into society.
• Education for Children with Disabilities: A Historical Perspective (03:01)
In the 1950s parents and advocacy groups fought for the rights of children with disabilities to attend public schools. When public education for students with disabilities began schools kept special classes segregated from other students.
• Education for Children with Disabilities: A Modern Perspective (04:32)
Today good schools lead the way in helping people with disabilities integrate into society and in helping society accept individuals with disabilities. Many students with disabilities participate in the same school classes and activities as their non-disabled peers.


Implementing Special Education Laws
Student’s Name
Institutional Affiliation
Implementing Special Education Laws
One of the current trends in education, not only in the USA but also across the globe is the move towards the full integration of special needs learners in the school system. In recent years, there has been an evident increase in special needs students who currently spend their entire academic schedule in the common classrooms similar to other students without disabilities due to the laws that facilitate the concept of full inclusion. The practice of inclusion in the American public schools occurred as a natural outgrowth of mainstream movements of the mid-20th century, particularly the 1960s. Many individuals fight for the concept of inclusion because the practice supports the rights of students besides allowing special needs students to enjoy the social benefits of learning in a standard classroom with other students. The special education laws facilitate the notion of inclusion, which subsequently ensures that all learners, including students with infirmities, have a right to an education similar to their counterparts without the limitations. The report examines the laws regarding students with abilities and maintains their practical application in the school system is grounded on understanding and appreciating their importance in facilitating inclusion.
Special Education Laws and Legal Terms
Education for all Handicapped Children Act (EAHCA)
The Education for all Handicapped Children Act (EAHCA) was initially passed by Congress almost five decades ago in 1975. It was the leading special learning law that was focused at students with different mental and physical disabilities. The proposal emphasized that public schools must endeavor to offer students with disabilities similar prospects for learning and teaching that the students without the disabilities enjoyed CITATION Ale12 \l 1033 (Alexander & Alexander, 2012). The EAHCA also mandated that any public institution that is eligible for federal and state resources offer a free meal each day to students with disabilities. The main objective of the law was to ensure that education services whether general or special were available to the students who need them in the school setting and to ensure fair and appropriate services for the disabled students. Moreover, the policy intended to facilitate the improvement of efficient assessment for special education, in addition, to endowing federal funds to the different public institutions across the USA for the teaching and learning of students with disabilities.
Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA of 1997 and 2004 amendments)
The Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) was generated in 1990, and in more ways than one is a amendment of the Education for All Handicapped Children Act. It was built in the response that despite EAHCA, the scholastic necessities of learners with disabilities were still not adequately met. IDEA guarantees that the students with infirmities obtain appropriate free public education in the least restrictive environment essential to meeting the necessities of the students with infirmities CITATION Ale12 \l 1033 (Alexander & Alexander, 2012). The law ensures that the special needs learners have the additional help they require to operate comfortably in a general education setting. Therefore, the law facilitates and enlists help to ensure a student with disabilities participate in similar undertakings as learners without disabilities.
The Individuals with Disabilities Education (IDEA) is the national special education rule of 1997 which provides financial aid to public institutions to ensure special education and associated amenities to qualified learners from the age of 3 to 21. The IDEA 1997 was recently revised in 2004 as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEIA) of 2004 CITATION Gre10 \l 1033 (Green & Qualls, 2010). The 2004 modification offers some direction in planning and the applying evaluation measures for all learners, including the students with speech and language conditions who may or might not have a disability. Therefore, the 2004 amendment stipulates that evaluation procedures in the school setting should be non-discriminatory, and all learners are evaluated fairly.
Free and Appropriate Public Education
The free and appropriate public education is part of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act(IDEA) which states that every child or young adult who has a limitation whether physical or mental and requires special education and associated facilities is eligible for a free and appropriate public education. The term free implies that the authorized learners with disabilities are educated at the public expenditure. Indeed, while parents are required to pay some incidental fee similar to the general education students, there are no other educational costs to the parent CITATION Lip15 \l 1033 (Lipkin & Okamoto, 2015). The term appropriate, on the other hand, means that any special needs student is eligible to an education strategy that is suitable his or her necessities. The word appropriate concedes with the idea of the individualized education program which emphasizes the importance of tailoring the education of the special needs students to their individual needs. Public mainly refers to the public institutions system, which implies that students with infirmities irrespective of the type and the degree of their limitations have the right to an education under the public institution system. Therefore, the free and appropriate public education under IDEA ensures that every school-aged individual with a infirmity receives an education that describes to his or her requirements, including the services outlined in the Individualized Education Program (IEP) CITATION Ets06 \l 1033 (Etscheidt, 2006). Free and appropriate public education ensure special needs learners are prepared for upcoming and further education, occupation, and sustainable living similar to their counterparts who do not have these limitations.
Individual Education Plan (IEP)
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) emphasizes the concept that close relatives and educators of the individuals who are eligible for special education due to their mental or physical needs should cultivate an Individualized Education Program (IEP) that assists in the establishment of special education that is customized to individual student explicit needs. To ensure the effectiveness of the IEP, there is a necessity for the caregiver, and by extension, the teachers to initially meet with the special needs student in question and his or her parents to determine their eligibility for an IEP CITATION Gre10 \l 1033 (Green & Qualls, 2010). Undeniably, since the IEP supports the concept of personalized learning centered to each student, the parents and the teachers may might regularly for instance on an annual basis to further develop the plan in addition to assessing the effectiveness of the adopted strategy.

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