On December 2nd, National Special Education Day commemorates the anniversary of the nation’s first federal special education law. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) was signed into law on December 2, 1972.
IDEA made education available to all American children and this day honors the progress that has been made in special education. Before IDEA, many individuals with disabilities received little to no education. Schools were not required to make accommodations for children with disabilities. While some states offered special schools, the education and resources were not necessarily equal. Additionally, many parents couldn’t afford to send their children away to a special school.
The law stipulated that children with disabilities had a right to the same free education that every other child had access to. Between the ages of 3 and 21, there are 13 different areas where children may qualify under the IDEA for services. IDEA was instrumental in increasing graduation rates for students with disabilities.
IDEA resulted in many changes beyond bringing students equal education. The integration of students also helps to remove the stigma of disabilities. Another result of IDEA was the stimulation of technology for students with disabilities and for the classrooms. These technologies improved the education of all students.
HOW TO OBSERVE #SpecialEducationDay
Share how IDEA impacted your life or the life of a family member. Use #SpecialEducationDay to post on social media.
NATIONAL SPECIAL EDUCATION DAY HISTORY
Special Education Day was first celebrated in 2005 which was the 30th anniversary of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. President Gerald Ford sign the law on December 2, 1975.