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Individuals with Disabilities Education Act

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Definition: The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is the law that outlines rights and regulations for students with disabilities in the U.S. who require special education. Under the IDEA, all children with disabilities are entitled to a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) in the Least-Restrictive Environment (LRE), and some are entitled to Early Intervention (EI) and Extended School Year (ESY). The law specifies how schools must provide or deny services, and how parents can fight school districts for them. The latest revision of this act is IDEA 2004, which in fact goes into effect on October 14, 2006.

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