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Established in 1963 by Congress as "centers of excellence" for research in intellectual and developmental disabilities, Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Centers (IDDRCs) represent the nation's first and foremost sustained effort to prevent and treat disabilities through biomedical and behavioral research. IDDRCs also contribute to the development and implementation of evidence-based practices by evaluating the effectiveness of biological, biochemical, and behavioral interventions; developing assistive technologies; and advancing prenatal diagnosis and newborn screening. The network of IDDRCs with AUCD membership consists of 14 Centers with current P30 core grant funding from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute for Child Health and Human Development (NICHD). Eight IDDRCs are co-located in universities with UCEDDs or LENDs.

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Originally enacted by Congress in 1975 and most recently revised in December 2004, IDEA is the nation's special education law which ensures children with disabilities have the opportunity to receive a free appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment. IDEA guides how states and school districts provide special education and related services to more than six million eligible children with disabilities. For more information, visit the NECTAC website, or the NEA website. IDEA is made of:

  • IDEA Part A: general provisions
  • IDEA Part B: provisions relating to the education of school-aged and preschool children, the funding formula (40% of the average cost for every special education student), evaluations for services, eligibility determinations, Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) and educational placements, as well as procedural safeguards
  • IDEA Part C: early intervention and other services for infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families (from birth through age 3), as well as grants to states to support these programs for infants and toddlers with disabilities
  • IDEA Part D: support for various national activities designed to improve the education of children with disabilities, including personnel preparation activities, technical assistance, and special education research

Individualized Education Plan. An IEP describes the goals set by a team of parents and educators for a child with special needs for the school year, as well as any special supports that are needed to help achieve those goals. In most cases, the services and goals outlined in an IEP can be provided in a standard school environment or in a special resource room in the regular school. The resource room can serve a group of children with similar needs who are brought together for help. For more information, click here. For resources, visit Family Village.

Individualized Family Service Plan. An IFSP documents and guides the early intervention process for children with disabilities and their families. The IFSP is the vehicle through which effective early intervention is implemented in accordance with Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). It contains information about the services necessary to facilitate a child's development and enhance the family's capacity to facilitate the child's development. Through the IFSP process, family members and service providers work as a team to plan, implement, and evaluate services tailored to the family's unique concerns, priorities, and resources. Learn more here.

Indian Health Service. Working with tribes, the IHS provides health services to 1.6 million American Indians and Alaska Natives of more than 550 federally recognized tribes. The Indian health system includes 49 hospitals, 247 health centers, 348 health stations, satellite clinics, residential substance abuse treatment centers, Alaska Native village clinics and 34 urban Indian health programs. Established: 1921. IHS is a public health agency of DHHS. www.ihs.gov.

Individualized Service Plan. The ISP is a written personal plan, or blueprint, for a person with developmental disabilities that summarizes the help he or she wants and needs to achieve his or her own aspirations in life. This program focuses on personal planning and assembling resulting information as a written Individualized Service Plan.