Special Education & I.D.E.A.
IDEA is a federally–funded statute that requires a free and appropriate public education for students who meet eligibility in one or more of the 13 federal disability definitions. The act has provisions for evaluation, placement and an individualized education plan (IEP) for eligible students who require specially designed instruction provided by special education certified personnel. Procedural Safeguards for parents and the school district are a component of this act.
It is the policy of the State of Missouri that all children with disabilities, residing in the state, including children with disabilities who are homeless children or are wards of the state, and children with disabilities attending private schools, regardless of the severity of their disability, and who are in need of special education and related services are identified, located, and evaluated.
This requirement applies to highly mobile children with disabilities (such as migrant and homeless children) and children who are suspected of being a child with a disability and in need of special education even though they are advancing from grade to grade. The State of Missouri also ensures that it has procedures in place to determine which children are receiving needed special education and related services.
- Emotional Disturbance
- Hearing Impairment and Deafness
- Intellectual Disability
- Multiple Disabilities
- Orthopedic Impairment
- Other Health Impairment
- Specific Learning Disability
- Speech or Language Impairment
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
- Visual Impairment/Blindness
- Young Child with a Developmental Delay
In order to be deemed eligible for state Special Education services, IDEA states that a student’s disability must adversely affect his or her academic achievement and/or overall educational performance. While defining these adverse effects are dependent on a student’s categorical disability, eligibility is determined through a process of evaluations by professionals such as a child’s pediatrician/specialists, school psychologists and social workers. After a student is deemed able to receive such services, their progress is annually reviewed.