• Federal Law


    The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is a law that makes available free appropriate public education to eligible children with disabilities throughout the nation and ensures special education and related services to those children.The IDEA governs how states and public agencies provide early intervention, special education, and related services to more than 7.5 million (as of school year 2018-19) eligible infants, toddlers, children, and youth with disabilities.Infants and toddlers, birth through age 2, with disabilities and their families receive early intervention services under IDEA Part C. Children and youth ages 3 through 21 receive special education and related services under IDEA Part B.

    Congress reauthorized the IDEA in 2004 and most recently amended the IDEA through Public Law 114-95, the Every Student Succeeds Act, in December 2015.In the law, Congress states:

    Disability is a natural part of the human experience and in no way diminishes the right of individuals to participate in or contribute to society. Improving educational results for children with disabilities is an essential element of our national policy of ensuring equality of opportunity, full participation, independent living, and economic self-sufficiency for individuals with disabilities.


    Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

    The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) became law in 1990. The ADA is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including jobs, schools, transportation, and all public and private places that are open to the general public. The purpose of the law is to make sure that people with disabilities have the same rights and opportunities as everyone else. The ADA is divided into five titles (or sections) that relate to different areas of public life; Employment, Public Services, Public Accommodations, Telecommunications and Miscellaneous. Section 504 is the part of that law that gives your child important rights in public and private schools. https://beta.ada.gov/ https://www.ada.gov/

    Section 504

    Section 504 has two main purposes. One is about removing barriers for students with disabilities in K–12 public schools. The other is about protecting children and adults with disabilities from discrimination in school settings and beyond.  If the school determines that a child is eligible under Section 504, it must provide appropriate services and support. This happens through a 504 plan at no cost to parents.The goal of 504 plans is to remove barriers to learning for students with disabilities. Schools must meet the needs of these students just as they meet the needs of students without disabilities. https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/504faq.html


  • NJ Special Education


    General Requirements

    Each district board of education is responsible for providing a system of free, appropriate
    special education and related services to students with disabilities aged three through 21
    that shall:
    1. Be provided at public expense, under public supervision, and with no charge to
    the parent;
    2. Be administered, supervised, and provided by appropriately certified and
    qualified professional staff members;
    3. Be located in facilities that are accessible to students with disabilities

    Determination of Eligibility

    In making a determination of eligibility for special education and related services, a
    student shall not be determined eligible if the determinant factor is due to a lack of
    instruction in reading, including the essential components of reading instruction, or
    mathematics, or if the student is an English language learner (ELL).

     A student shall be determined eligible and classified as "eligible for special education and
    related services" under this chapter when it is determined that the student has one or more
    of the disabilities under NJ classification categories, the disability adversely affects the
    student's educational performance, and the student is in need of special education and
    related services.

    NJ Elgibility Categories

    Auditory Impairment, Autism, Intellectual Disability, Communication Impairment, Emotional Regulation Impairment, Multiple Disabilities (MD), Deaf/Blindness, Orthopaedic Impairment, Other Health Impairment (OHI), Preschool Child with a Disability, Social Maladjustment, Specific Learning Disability (SLD), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and Visual Impairment.


    Specific Learning Disability (SLD)

     A disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in language skills that manifests in an imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell, or perform mathematical calculations.

    Specific learning disabilities may be determined by finding a severe discrepancy between current achievement and intellectual ability in:

    • basic reading skills
    • reading comprehension
    • oral expression
    • listening comprehension
    • Mathematical calculation
    • Mathematical problem solving
    • written expression
    • reading fluency

    SLDs may also be identified by utilizing a response to scientifically based interventions. SLDs are not the results of visual, hearing, or motor disabilities, general cognitive deficits, emotional disturbance or environment, or cultural or economic disadvantage.



  • A Mind At A Time

    by Mel Levine Year Published: 2002

    One of the first works to challenge the idea of standardized education. Rather than investing in one-size-fits-all teaching strategies, Levine argues for a personalized approach to education.

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