The Impacts of IDEA

The updates made to IDEA in 2004 had some impacts on some of the provisions involved. Among them is the Individualized Education Program (IEP). The changes made to IEP were quite significant both on what should be included during the process and the individuals to participate. The changes were quite important since IEP lays out the school’s commitment when it comes to special education. When updating the IDEA Act, Congress had the objective of reducing the complexity of the law, the paper work and meetings involved. The objectives help to explain some of the changes done on IEP provisions. Parents continued to be full and equal partners in the IEP process. However, IDEA now requires the discussions involved in the process to promote parent participation. This is to say that a parent’s input is now being regarded as being unique and meaningful. Under IDEA, every eligible student is required to have an IEP in effect prior to special education and other related services are provided. The IEP also ought to be reviewed at least once a year. Parents also have to offer consent before their children are subjected to the IEP process.

IDEA has also had an impact on the nature of environments that students with disability are subjected to. This is through the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE). A child under special education is supposed to be subjected to an environment that allows him or her to reap maximum benefits. IDEA asserts that there are two things that are quite important when LRE is involved with regards to students with disability. One is that students with disability should interact with the other students to the “maximum extent that is appropriate. The other provision is that they should be removed from the general education class only when the disability is severe. These requirements have made it possible for students with disability to learn in the same environment as their peers hence enabling them to develop various skills and improve in their education prospects.

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