Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)

What is IDEA?

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is a law ensuring services to children with disabilities. IDEA governs how states and public agencies provide early intervention, special education and related services to more than 6.5 million eligible infants, toddlers, children and youth with disabilities.

Infants and toddlers with disabilities (birth-2) and their families receive early intervention services under IDEA Part C. Children and youth (ages 3-21) receive special education and related services under IDEA Part B.

History of IDEA Legislation


Higher Education Act (HEA)

What is HEA?

The Higher Education Act oversees the majority of federal higher education programs. It authorizes federally funded resources for colleges and universities, including financial assistance, protections for students, and special programs intended to support students in postsecondary and higher education.

History of HEA Legislation

Current AUCD Resources

HEA Reauthorization for 116th Congress

The most recent version of the Higher Education Act, HEOA, allows students with intellectual disabilities to access grants, work study jobs and financial assistance, although not student loans, if they meet the definition of “intellectual disability” and are enrolled in a Comprehensive Transition and Postsecondary Program Students with Intellectual Disabilities (CTP). HEOA also authorized Transition and Postsecondary Programs for Students with Intellectual Disability (TPSIDs) to develop high-quality postsecondary programs at higher education institutions. need reauthorization to continue.

HEA Reauthorization Resources & Recommendations


Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)

What is ESSA?

The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) emphasizes equal access to education, establishes high standards and accountability, and requires the inclusion of all students with disabilities in the student achievement system. The law authorizes federal funds for primary and secondary education, including funding for some programs that are administered by the states.

History of ESSA


Other Topics for 117th Congress

Keep Our PACT Act

The Keep Our Pact Act (H.R.764S.72) would require full funding of the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act and Part A of Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965.

Keeping All Students Safe Act (KASSA)

*Not yet reintroduced* The Keeping All Students Safe Act will provide resources and system supports to prevent the harmful use of restraint and seclusion and ensure equal protection of all students. The legislation would also guarantee that school faculty and staff are held to firm standards for managing students’ discipline safely and use proven positive behavior supports rather than seclusion or physical restraint.