(also known as Public Law 94-142)
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act is a federal law that governs how states and public agencies provide early intervention, special education, and related services to children with disabilities. It addresses the educational needs of children with disabilities from birth to age 18 or 21. IDEA was originally enacted by Congress in 1975 (then named the Education of All Handicapped Children Act, or Public Law 94-142) to ensure that children with disabilities have the opportunity to receive a free appropriate public education, just like other children. The law has been revised many times over the years. The most recent amendments were passed by Congress in December 2004, with final regulations published in August 2006.