On November 29, 1975 President Gerald Ford signed into law the Education for All Handicapped Children Act (Public Law 94-142), landmark legislation that forever changed how American’s view children and youth with disabilities. Now known as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), this law raised expectations for millions of children and youth with disabilities who were previously excluded from public school. Today, more than 6 million children and youth with disabilities receive services provided by IDEA.
Over the past 41 years we have had the opportunity to witness countless successes as children and youth with disabilities learn to develop their gifts, expand their horizons and contribute to their communities. IDEA has helped push the proliferation of practices that provide children and youth with disabilities access and, in 1986 was expanded to support early intervention services which now impact over 300,000 infants and toddlers with disabilities.
Thank you, special educators! As we celebrate the 41st anniversary of IDEA, know that CEC appreciates the dedication of the nations over 400,000 special educators and early interventionists and is honored to work on your behalf!