In 1975, the passage of the Education for All Handicapped Children Act (Public Law 94-142) guaranteed access to a free, appropriate, public education (FAPE) in the least restrictive environment to every child with a disability. Subsequent amendments, as reflected in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), have led to an increased emphasis on access to the gneral education curriculum, the provision of services for young children from birth to five, transition planning and accountability for the achievement of students with disabilities.
During these 35 years, the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) has supported efforts that are making a difference for millions of children with disabilities, as well as their non-disabled friends and classmates. Many of the educational practices employed by our nation's best teachers are the direct result of federal investments in rigorous educational research, training and technical assistance. Today, due largely to the provision of IDEA-supported programs and services, nearly 6.6 million infants, toddlers, children and youths with disabilities are achieving at levels unimaginable in previous decades.
This November, in honor of the 35th anniversary of IDEA, the U.S. Department of Education and OSERS will host a celebration in Washington, D.C. If you have a personal experience with IDEA, or have witnessed its impact, they hope to hear from you. As part of the celebration, they are welcoming stories, poetry, photography, art work and video clips from individuals with disabilities, students, teachers, principals, researchers, parents, teacher trainers and others across the country for possible inclusion during the celebration. Submissions will be accepted through November 8, 2010 on OSERS' 35th anniversary of IDEA Website at https://www.osep-meeting.org/IDEA