LAW AND EXCEPTIONAL STUDENTS

 

Table of Contents

 


Time Line

1970

1973 PL 93-112

1975

1975 PL 94-142

1980

1981 PL 97-35

1983 PL 98-199

  1985

1986 PL 99-372

PL 99-457

1988 PL 100-360

PL 100-407

1989 PL 101-239

1990

1990 PL 101-336

PL 101-392

PL 101-476

PL 101-496

PL 101-508

1992 PL 102-569

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Education Law

 

This federal law, also known as EHA, required states to provide "a free, appropriate public education for every child between the ages of 3 and 21 (unless state law does not provide free, public education to children 3 to 5 or 18 to 21 years of age) regardless of how, or how seriously, he may be handicapped." PL 94-142 was the first law to clearly define the rights of disabled children to free appropriate public education (FAPE). It required the school systems to include the parents when meeting about the child or making decisions about his/her education. PL 94-142 mandated an individualized education program (IEP) for every student with a disability. The IEP must include short and long-term goals for the student, as well as ensure that the necessary services and products are available to the student. This law also requires that students are placed in the least restrictive environment (LRE). LRE means placing the student in the most normal setting that is possible. PL 94-142 also ensures that students with disabilities are given nondiscriminatory tests (tests which take into consideration the native-language of the student and the effects of the disability) and that due process procedures are in place (to protect parents and students).

 

This law allows for federal funding to create parent training and information centers (PIC) so that parents could learn how to protect the rights that PL 94-142 guarantees their child. PL 98-199 also provided financial incentives to expand services for children from birth to age 3 and the initiatives for transition services from school to adult living for students with disabilities.

 

This act allows parents or guardians to be reimbursed for reasonable legal costs if they WIN a hearing or court action. PL 99-372 requires that the case and the costs of the legal proceedings should be discussed with the lawyer prior to any legal action.

 

These amendments, which are also known as the Early Intervention Amendments to PL 92-142, extended FAPE to all children ages 3 to 5 by October 1991 (Section 619, Part B) in all states which wanted to participate (all 50 wanted to and did, even states that do not have public schooling for children this age). In Section 619, Part H, a new program is created for infants, toddlers, and their families, which requires the development of an individualized family service plan (IFSP) for each child/family served.

 

This act, a.k.a "The Tech Act," recognizes that students with disabilities need special equipment to perform better and more independently (assistive technology). PL 100-407 also authorizes funding to allow states to create statewide systems of technological assistance to meet those needs.

 

This law requires that vocational education for students with disabilities be provided, be in the least restrictive environment (LRE), and when appropriate, be a part of the individualized education program (IEP). PL 101-392 also requires that individuals with disabilities (who are not members of special populations) be provided equal access to vocational programs (i.e. recruitment, enrollment, and placement activities).

 

This act, which is also known as the Education of the Handicapped Act Amendments of 1990, renamed the earlier EHA laws and their amendments (including PL 94-142 and PL 98-199). Their new name is the Individuals with Disabilities Education Acts.

More importantly, PL 101-476 replaced the word "handicapped" with the word "disabled" and therefore, expanded the services for these students. IDEA reaffirms PL 94-142's requirements of a free, appropriate public education (FAPE) through an individualized education program (IEP) with related services and due process procedures. This act also supports the amendments to PL 94-142 that expanded the entitlement in all states to ages 3 to 21, designated assistive technology as a related service in IEPs, strengthened the laws commitment to greater inclusion in community schools (least restrictive placement), provided funding for infant and toddler early intervention programs, and required that by age 16 every student have explicitly written in the IEP a plan for transition to employment or post secondary education.

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Rehabilitation/Civil Rights Laws

 

This act assures that people with disabilities will not be discriminated against by reason of disability by any programs or activities receiving federal funds (must provide access with "reasonable accommodation" to individuals with disabilities). Due process procedural safeguards are included in Section 504 to this act.

 

This act extends Section 504 of PL 93-112 by requiring the rights of equal access and reasonable accommodation in employment and services provided by both private and public sectors.

 

This law revises and expands the programs of PL 93-112. PL 102-569 includes provisions to ensure that the individuals's wishes are considered during the rehabilitation process, especially the writing of the individualized written rehabilitation plan (IWRP); the IWRP should include a statement about his/her involvement in developing the plan. This law defines what vocational services include (personal assistance, transition, and supported employment services) and who is eligible for these services (those with the most severe disabilities, and those who need intensive supported employment services to enter or retain employment). PL 102-569 also explains that the basis for the number of hours provided for individuals should be a maximum possible amount, and consider their strengths, resources, interests, and concerns.

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Medicaid Laws

 

This law allows states to apply for Medicaid funds to provide home-and community-based services for children who are at risk of institutionalization or are residing in an institution.

 

This law allows states to obtain limited funds for IEP-related services and for early intervention/family support services as defined in the individualized family service plan (IFSP).

 

This law expands Medicaid's Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis, and Treatment (EPSDT) and allows Medicaid funds for "medically necessary" treatment without regard for limits of a state's Medicaid plan.

 

PL 101-508, a part of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (OBRA), focuses on the need for child care throughout the country. It emphasizes the need and encourages the inclusion of children with "special needs" in those child care programs, which are developed by the states as a result of the funds provided to each state that submits a comprehensive plan for child care.

 

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Developmental Disabilities Laws

 

This law promotes community acceptance and inclusion for all people with developmental disabilities. It also provides funds to state protection and advocacy agencies for disabled people.

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Divisions of the Laws by Topics

 

PL 94-142 Education for all Handicapped Children Act (1975)

PL 99-457 Education of the Handicapped Act Amendments (1986)

PL 101-476 IDEA (1990)

 

PL 94-142 Education for all Handicapped Children Act (1975)

PL 101-392 The Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Applied Technology Act (1990)

PL 101-476 IDEA (1990)

PL 100-360 Catastrophic Coverage Act (1988)

 

PL 94-142 Education for all Handicapped Children Act (1975)

PL 101-392 The Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Applied Technology Act (1990)

PL 101-476 IDEA (1990)

 

PL 99-457 Education of the Handicapped Act Amendments (1986)

PL 100-360 Catastrophic Coverage Act (1988)

 

PL 100-407 Technology-Related Assistance for Individuals with Disabilities Act (1988)

PL 101-476 IDEA (1990)

 

PL 93-112 Rehabilitation Act (1973)

PL 101-336 ADA (1990)

 

PL 102-569 Rehabilitation Acts Amendment of 1992

 

PL 98-199 Education of the Handicapped Act Amendments (1983)

From PICs, one may get current info about state and federal laws, receive training in advocacy for a child, or locate the specific disability agency that can help you understand more about a child's disability. These centers are usually staffed by parents who have had firsthand experience in dealing with the educational system.

To contact North Carolina's PIC, write or call:

Connie Hawkins

Exceptional Children's Assistance Center

P.O. Box 16

Davidson, NC 28306

(704) 892-1321

1-800-962-6817 (NC only)

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Quiz

1. Which law required states to provide a free, appropriate education for every child between the ages of 3 and 21 (3-5 and 18-21 were not mandatory), required that an IEP be made for every student with a disability, and requires that students with disabilities be placed in the least restrictive placement as possible?

a. PL 101-476 IDEA (1990)

b. PL 100-407 The Tech Act (1988)

c. PL 94-142 Education for All Handicapped Children Act (1975)

d. PL 101-336 ADA (1990)

ANSWER

2. Which act extends a mandatory free, appropriate public education to children ages 3 to 5?

a. PL 98-199 Education of the Handicapped Act Amendment (1983)

b. PL 99-457 Education of the Handicapped Act Amendments (1986)

c. PL 101-476 IDEA (1990)

d. PL 100-407 The Tech Act (1988)

ANSWER

3. Which law maintains that students are entitled to a free, appropriate public education through an individualized education program, but expanded these services by changing the word "handicapped" to "disabled?"

a. PL 101-476 IDEA (1990)

b. PL 101-336 ADA (1990)

c. PL 100-407 The Tech Act (1988)

d. PL 100-360 The Catastrophe Act (1988)

ANSWER

4. The Americans with Disabilities Act, a.k.a ADA, of 1990 (PL 101-336) does which of the following:

a. Reverses Rehabilitation Act (PL 93-112).

b. Requires rights of equal access and reasonable accommodation in employment and services required by public and private sectors.

c. Eliminates rights of equal access.

d. States that students should be placed in the most restrictive environment (MRE).

ANSWER

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ANSWERS

1. C. PL 94-142 Education for all Handicapped Children Act of 1975 required states to provide a free, appropriate public education for every child between the ages of 3 and 21 (3 -5 and 18-21 were not mandatory), required that an IEP be made for every child with a disability, and required that students with disabilities be placed in the least restrictive environment as possible.

Go to #2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. B. PL 99-457 Education of the Handicapped Act Amendments (1986), the second of the EHA amendments, extended a mandatory free, appropriate public education to children ages 3 to 5?

Go to #3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. A. PL 101-476 IDEA (1990) maintained that students are entitled to a free, appropriate public education through an individualized education program, but expanded these services by replacing "handicapped" with "disabled."

Go to #4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. B. ADA requires rights of equal access and reasonable accommodation in employment and services required by private and public sectors.

 

GOOD JOB

 

 

 

Works Cited

Cutler, Barbara Coyne. You, Your Child, and "Special" Education: A Guide to

Making the System Work. New Autism Consultants: Arlington, Mass,

1993.

Woolfolk, Anita E. Educational Psychology 7th Ed. Allyn and Bacon,

Needham Heights, MA, 1998.

 

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Questions or Comments?

ahowell.unc.edu

Last updated:

6 October 1998