Education is regarded as a fundamental right in the United States. Up until the 1970’s, however, children with disabilities were being denied this right. Congress passed landmark legislation to redress this injustice, beginning with the Vocational Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and culminating with the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act. These new federal laws strived to end educational discrimination against children with disabilities, by guaranteeing all children have access to a free and appropriate education in the best environment possible. These laws made clear what schools and other public entities obligations were for the education of the disabled, and also proposed specific measures to be taken for their protection, thereby ensuring that all citizens had access to an education and the self-sufficiency and education provides.
The Impact of Section 504 of the Vocational Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) 2004, on the Education of Children with Disabilities The notion that public education is essential for a well functioning republic has a long history in the United States. The chief goal of an education is to produce a measure of self-sufficiency in an individual (Hannon, 1997). An individual is expected to determine his or her own course and not to be dependant, but function independently, and an education is the means to achieve this goal. Up until the 1970’s, education for those with disabilities did not foster independence, in fact the result was the exact opposite. People with disabilities weren’t expected to be self-sufficient, instead often ended up dependent on public funds and programs for support. (Stroman, 2003) In order to change this prevailing notion about disability,
References: Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka et. al., 347 U.S. 483 (1954), LEXIS 2094. Flanagan, R. (1995). A Review of the Behavior Assessment System for Children (BASC): Assessment Consistent With the Requirements of the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Journal of School Psychology, 33, 177-186. Hannon, R. C. (1997). Returning to the True Goal of the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act: Self-Sufficiency. Vanderbilt Law Review, 50, 715-752. Hurwitz, K. A. (2008). A Review of Special Education Law. Pediatric Neurology, 39, 147-154. Jacob, S., Hartshorn, T. S. (2003). Ethics and Law for School Psychologists. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley and Sons Inc. McDonough, C. B. (2008). The Mainstreaming Requirement of the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act in the Context of Autism Spectrum Disorders. Fordham Urban Law Journal, 35, 1225-1261. Sattler, J. M. (2008). Resource Guide to Accompany Assessment of Children: Cognitive Foundations (5th ed.). San Diego, CA: Jerome M. Sattler, Publisher, Inc. Stroman, D. F. (2003). The Disability Rights Movement: From Deinstitutionalization to Self-Determination. Lanham, MD: University Press of America, Inc. Switzer, J. V. (2003). Disabled Rights: American Policy and the Fight For Equality. Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press.