Speaking out for People with
 Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

Recognizing that every person with special needs has unique strengths, abilities and needs, VOR supports a full array of educational and residential options. We are the only national organization supporting a full array of educational and residential options. We hope that the resources in this section provide families some help and guidance as they work to secure for their children all necessary services and supports.

How IDEA Protects You and Your Child

Source: Understood * By Andrew M.I. Lee * January 19, 2015

At a Glance

  • The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is a federal law that requires schools to serve the educational needs of eligible students with disabilities.
  • Schools must evaluate students suspected of having disabilities, including learning disabilities.
  • Not every child with learning and attention issues qualifies for special education services under IDEA.
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Schools Obligated To Maintain IEPs When Kids Move


Disability Scoop * September 3, 2013

Schools have a special responsibility to provide continuity when students with disabilities move from one district to another, federal education officials say.

Officials said that under IDEA a child moving to a new school is entitled to receive services that are “similar or equivalent” to what was provided in their last placement. This mandate includes not only offerings provided during the traditional school year, but also any summer programming included in the student’s individualized education program, or IEP.

In cases where students transfer schools within the same state, such services must be provided until the new school either adopts the student’s IEP or develops and implements a new one. Similarly, when children move out of state, comparable services must be offered until an evaluation is conducted, if needed, and a new IEP is put in place, the letter said.

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IDEA and What it Means for Students with Disabilities

EP Magazine, September 2013
by Beverley H. Johns, Adjunct Instructor, Special Education, MacMurray College (Jacksonville, IL)


Three administrators at a high school recently got together and decided that they were going to place all the special education students with behavioral problems back in the general education classroom.  When I got an email from a very upset teacher who knew this was wrong, she asked what she could do. 

These types of situations and questions are too common today even after a law protecting students with disabilities was passed in 1975. There is still a lot of ignorance out there and it is important that all of us continue to advocate for students with disabilities and educate others about what the law really says.

What was wrong with what these administrators did?  

They clearly violated the principles of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA 2004), the federal law that protects the rights of all students with disabilities that impact their educational performance. 

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Roadmap to Individualized Education Plans (IEPs)

WrightsLaw Newsletter
September 25, 2012

Do you know what IDEA really says about IEPs?

• Who may be excused from IEP meetings?
• Can I change my child's IEP without a meeting?
• What are the IEP requirements for transition?
• What happens to services when we transfer schools?
• What does the law say about developing, reviewing and revising IEPs?

In this issue of the Special Ed Advocate you will learn about the legal requirements of IEPs. Get answers to your questions and find out what you need to know about IEPs, IEP teams, and IEP meetings. Learn how to use tactics and strategies to get quality services in your child's IEP.

Inclusion: Answers to Frequently Asked Questions from the National Education Association

The Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) and the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) have been asked to provide guidance in a question and answer format on some frequently asked questions about the requirements of Federal law, particularly the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), that are relevant to educating students with disabilities. These questions were submitted by the National Education Association. Read more.