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Kentucky Disability Resource Guide
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Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)

What is IDEA?
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is the federal law that provides services for children whose disability negatively affects their educational performance and/or ability to benefit from the general education. For school-aged children and youth (age 3 to 21), supplemental education and related services are provided through the public school system. A written Individualized Education Program (IEP) is required with specific content about services to be provided.

If the child is in school, IDEA specifies that assistive technology is any “item, piece of equipment of product system, whether acquired commercially off the shelf, modified or customized, that is used to increase, maintain or improve functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities” Assistive technology devices and services are to be made “available to a child with a disability if required as part of the child’s special education, related services, or supplemental aids and services.”

Does my child qualify for special education?
– Must be between age 3 and 21
– Must receive an evaluation to gather relevant functional and developmental information
– Must meet one of the disability categories identified in IDEA: Autism, deaf-blindness, deafness, emotional disturbance, hearing impairment, intellectual disability, multiple disabilities, orthopedic impairment, other health impairment, specific learning disability,speech or language impairment, traumatic brain injury, or visual impairment.
– Schools may also use the term “developmental delay” for children aged 3 through 9. (in Kentucky, the category of developmental delay can be used up to a child’s 9th birthday; at age 9, the child would have to qualify under one of the other IDEA categories to continue to receive services)

How can I apply for services?
– Schools are required to provide a full evaluation
– Written parent or guardian consent is required before the initial evaluation
– Parents may request an Independent Educational Evaluation if the parent or guardian disagrees with the school’s evaluation
– Contact your child’s IEP Coordinator or the KY Department of Education

(502) 564-4970