Module 1: History of Special Education and Inclusive Education

  • ESEA

    The ESEA was among the first times the federal government stepped in to provide for disadvantaged students and to encourage equal access to public educations. It established the free and reduced lunch system and additional support so they could benefit from the school system. It also included a grant program that began encouraging states to provide programs for students with disabilities. it was the starting point for all the other acts to improve upon.
  • PARC v. Pennsylvania

    PARC v. Pennsylvania
    Pennsylvania Association for Retarded Children v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania prohibited the discrimination of children with disabilities in Pennsylvania. The state was not allowed to deny access to a free public education to any mentally retarded child. This lay the base for the principles in IDEA which guarantee a free public education to any student regardless of their disability.
  • Vocational Rehabilitation Act

    Vocational Rehabilitation Act
    The Vocational Rehabilitation Act allowed for equal opportunities and services for individuals with disabilities. It prohibits discrimination against persons with disabilities in any organization that receives federal, state, or local funds. This also means that public education cannot discriminate against students or potential employees due to their disability. It also defined an appropriate education as being an education that caters to the students needs as adequately as possible.
  • Board of Ed. (HHCSD) v. Rowley

    Board of Ed. (HHCSD) v. Rowley
    In Board of Education of Hendrick Hudson Central School District v. Rowley a free and appropriate public education was clearly defined. The courts ruled that EAHCA requires states to provide sufficient support so that the students could have an education similar to that of their non-disabled peers. Support can be offered through resources such as hiring an interpreter for deaf students.

    The Education for All Handicapped Children Act was signed by President General Ford and served as the foundation for the guidelines in IDEA. It was the first act to define a least restrictive environment so that students with disabilities could have the opportunity to a free and appropriate public education, possibly along with their non-disabled peers in a general education classroom. This act was also the first to introduce the highly important individualized education programs (IEPs).
  • Individuals with Disabilities Ed. Act (IDEA)

    Individuals with Disabilities Ed. Act (IDEA)
    The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act replaced the EAHCA and introduced more guidelines for schools to follow. For example, autism and traumatic brain injury were included as disabilities. IDEA also required states to provide transition services to help students with disabilities transition to employment. With the transition services also came the requirement for an individualized transition plan incorporated into the IEP.

    This act includes the most recent provisions to IDEA which aims to improve educational outcomes and raise standards for special education licensure by passing a state special education exam and certification. It also encourages early intervention services for students who do not currently identify as special education students. Finally, there are less restrictions on who needs to be present for IEP meetings. Mainstreaming and inclusion in general classrooms became the preferred options as LRE.
  • Every Student Succeeds Act

    Every Student Succeeds Act
    The Every Student Succeeds Act replaced the No Child Left Behind Act as a further commitment to improving the school system for all children by offering more support and flexibility. A major part of the act is the requirement for all students to take statewide assessments, including students with disabilities, to ensure that they are benefiting.