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Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)

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The U.S. Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is a federal law that governs how states and public agencies provide early intervention, special education, and related services to children with disabilities.

The IDEA and its predecessor statute, the Education for All Handicapped Children Act of 1975 (EHA), arose from federal case law holding that denying free public education to disabled children constitutes a deprivation of due process. It has grown in scope and form since then. IDEA has been reauthorized and amended a number of times, most recently in December of 2004.