Education Law Time Line:
1967--Congress adds Title VI to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, creating a Bureau of Education for the Handicapped (now called OSEP) and creating and funding what is now called the Comprehensive System of Personnel Development, by which school districts can acquire and disseminate promising educational practices to teach students with disabilities
1973--Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act is enacted into statute, and affects any recipient of federal financial assistance such as your school district and your state education agency.
1974--The EHA (Education of the Handicapped Act -- grandparent of IDEA) is enacted to greatly expand Title VI.
1975--The EHA is amended by the Education for All Handicapped Children Act (EAHCA) which is the parent of the IDEA becomes IDEA-- Individuals with Disabilities Education Act ).
1977--Sec. 504 regulations are issued, to begin with 1977-78 school year, and includes a requirement for a self-evaluation of all policies and procedures of your school district and your state education agency so that discriminatory policies would be stopped.
1990--The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is enacted. Congress finds that the failures of school districts over the past 15 years of special education laws requires them to add the protection of the ADA to parents and students with disabilities. The ADA also adopts the Section 504 regulations as part of the ADA statute, so now the 504 regulations have the full weight of a federal statute.
1997--The IDEA is amended with hundreds of changes that affect programming starting with the 1998-99 school year
2001--No Child Left Behind Act
2004--Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004
Please click on the blue titles of each law to be linked to external government sites which provide the full text of that legislation.
The ADA prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in employment, State and local government, public accommodations, commercial facilities, transportation, and telecommunications. It also applies to the United States Congress. To be protected by the ADA, one must have a disability or have a relationship or association with an individual with a disability. An individual with a disability is defined by the ADA as a person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, a person who has a history or record of such an impairment, or a person who is perceived by others as having such an impairment. The ADA does not specifically name all of the impairments that are covered.
The ADA is such an influential peice of legislation that the Federal Government has created a website which provides informational and technical assistance with the law. That site can be found here.
As amended in 1988, this act prohibits housing discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, disability, familial status, and national origin. Its coverage includes private housing, housing that receives Federal financial assistance, and State and local government housing. It is unlawful to discriminate in any aspect of selling or renting housing or to deny a dwelling to a buyer or renter because of the disability of that individual, an individual associated with the buyer or renter, or an individual who intends to live in the residence. Other covered activities include, for example, financing, zoning practices, new construction design, and advertising. The Fair Housing Act requires owners of housing facilities to make reasonable exceptions in their policies and operations to afford people with disabilities equal housing opportunities.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's website addressed The Fair Housing Act and assists people with disabilities. That section of the website can be found here.
This Act authorizes the U.S. Attorney General to investigate conditions of confinement at State and local government institutions such as prisons, jails, pretrial detention centers, juvenile correctional facilities, publicly operated nursing homes, and institutions for people with psychiatric or developmental disabilities. Its purpose is to allow the Attorney General to uncover and correct widespread deficiencies that seriously jeopardize the health and safety of residents of institutions.
(formerly called P.L. 94-142 or the Education for all Handicapped Children Act of 1975)
This Act requires public schools to make available to all eligible children with disabilities a free appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment appropriate to their individual needs. IDEA requires public school systems to develop appropriate Individualized Education Programs (IEP's) for each child. The specific special education and related services outlined in each IEP reflect the individualized needs of each student. IDEA also mandates that particular procedures be followed in the development of the IEP. Each student's IEP must be developed by a team of knowledgeable persons and must be at least reviewed annually. The team includes the child's teacher; the parents, subject to certain limited exceptions; the child, if determined appropriate; an agency representative who is qualified to provide or supervise the provision of special education; and other individuals at the parents' or agency's discretion. The Federal Government has created a website to assisit Americans with IDEA. That website can be found here.
This Act requires that buildings and facilities that are designed, constructed, or altered with Federal funds, or leased by a Federal agency, comply with Federal standards for physical accessibility. ABA requirements are limited to architectural standards in new and altered buildings and in newly leased facilities. They do not address the activities conducted in those buildings and facilities. Facilities of the U.S. Postal Service are covered by the ABA.
This civil rights law prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities. Section 504 ensures that the child with a disability has equal access to an education. The child may receive accommodations and modifications. Unlike the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Section 504 does not require the school to provide an individualized educational program (IEP) that is designed to meet the child's unique needs and provides the child with educational benefit. Fewer procedural safeguards are available for disabled children and their parents under Section 504 than under IDEA.
This Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in programs conducted by Federal agencies, in programs receiving Federal financial assistance, in Federal employment, and in the employment practices of Federal contractors. The standards for determining employment discrimination under the Rehabilitation Act are the same as those used in title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The D.D. Act provides federal financial assistance to states and public and nonprofit agencies to support community-based delivery of services to persons (both children and adults) with developmental disabilities to create and enhance opportunities for independence, productivity, and self-determination. The act is broken down into four intersecting parts: State Councils on Developmental Disabilities (DD Councils), Protection and Advocacy (P&A), University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDDs) and Projects of National Significance (PNS). Title II of the DD Act also authorizes the Family Supports Program to promote and strengthen comprehensive State systems for in-home supports.