Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Education for All Handicapped Children Act of 1975

EHAThe Education for All Handicapped Children Act of 1975 (EHA) was the first major federal law in the United States that guaranteed a free public education for all children ages 5 to 21, including those with physical and mental disabilities.

The law was enacted to provide an appropriate education to millions of children who were not receiving a proper education solely because they had a disability. To ensure all children received an education, the federal government required states that received federal funds to comply with certain requirements.

Federal Requirements
  1. Guarantee a free and appropriate public education (FAPE) for all children with disabilities ages 5 to 21.
  2. Special education and related services must be free and provided by a public agency at no cost to the child’s parents.
  3. Regular and special education and related services are provided to meet the student’s individual educational needs.
  4. An Individualized Educational Program (IEP) must be developed for each student who is eligible for special education and related services that states the educational goals for that child and how said goals will be met.
  5. All children with disabilities will receive their education in the least restrictive environment (LRE).
  6. Parents of children with disabilities have the right to be involved in every decision related to their child’s education and give consent to any changes made in their child’s education. Parents also have the right to due process if they wish to appeal any decision.

1986 Amendments to EHA

  • The law was extended to cover children with disabilities from birth to age 5.
  • Children ages 3-5 with disabilities were guaranteed a free and appropriate public education (FAPE).
  • Early Intervention Programs were to be created for infants and toddlers with disabilities from birth to age 2.
  • Individualized Family Service Plans (IFSP) were to be developed for each family with an infant or toddler who has a disability.
In 1990 EHA was further amended and became known as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). For more information on IDEA, please see the The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) entry.


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