Exceptional Lives: Special Education in Today's Schools

I've been reading about IDEA in the first chapter of my Exceptional Lives: Special Education in Today's Schools textbook. IDEA is the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, and was passed by Congress in the early 1970s--I think 1974.

IDEA requires states and school districts to provide a free education to students with disabilities. The legislation has components that define who should be enrolled in special education, and what type of special education that students should receive.

I have been reading a lot of facts about the legislation so far. I'm looking forward to some discussion about it in my next class. It's tough for me to digest all of the facts by reading. I think the basic, general concept is that there is federal legislation that guarantees the free education of students with disabilites.

The textbook is written by researchers at the University of Kansas. At least three of the authors have a child with a disability. Sean Smith has a child, Nolan, that has Down Syndrome. He is a toddler, and he is receiving early intervention special education services.

The textbook has, upon first glance, an excellent companion website (link above). The website provides overviews, examples, quizzes, message boards and other material to help synergize the learning of the material presented.


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