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  • Writer's pictureJillian Helding

Celebrating the 46th Anniversary of IDEA

November marked the 46th anniversary of the passage of the landmark Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

In her reflections on the importance of the legislation, Katherine Neas, deputy assistant secretary of OSERS, said, "In 1975, it was a different world for children with disabilities. More than 1.8 million students with disabilities were denied access to an education. For those who receive any services, most were delivered in segregated settings and few children had access to the same educational curriculum as their nondisabled peers. Today, more than 70 percent of students in special education graduate with a standard high school diploma."

Commenting on the special significance of IDEA during the COVID-19 pandemic, Neas added, "The last 18 months have challenged schools, families, and students in countless ways...Families and caregivers did all they could to support and advocate for their learners. And the protections of IDEA remained throughout it all." Read deputy assistant secretary Neas's full remarks here:

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