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Geneva, IL 60134
Phone: 630-463-3000

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is a federal law that requires schools to serve the educational needs of eligible students with disabilities. IDEA provides Districts with federal funds to help make special education services available for students with disabilities. It also provides very specific requirements to ensure a free appropriate public education (FAPE) for students with disabilities.

A comprehensive process is followed to determine if a child is eligible for specialized education. A child may be found eligible for these services under one or more of the following categories as deemed by the outcomes of an evaluation:
  • 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
  • Visual impairment, including blindness

School teams must work with parents to determine if a child has a disability that is adversely impacting the child’s ability to access his/her education.

If a child is found eligible for special education, the school team develops an Individualized Education Plan (IEP). This plan must be reviewed and updated annually.

Parent Guide

Special education laws and procedures are complicated and can be difficult to understand. The Illinois State Board of Education has developed a guide for parents to clarify some of the procedures and regulations of special education. The guide and additional resources can be found on the ISBE Parents of Students with Disabilities Website or by clicking the links below:

Topics by Chapter:
Chapter 1: Child Find
Chapter 2: Response to Intervention (RtI)
Chapter 3: Referral & Evaluation
Chapter 4: Eligibility Categories
Chapter 5: Additional Procedures for Specific Learning Disabilities
Chapter 6: Individualized Education Programs (IEPs)
Chapter 7: Least Restrictive Environment (LRE)
Chapter 8: Secondary Transition
Chapter 9: Behavior Intervention Plans (BIPs)
Chapter 10: Student Discipline
Chapter 11: Conflict Resolution
Chapter 12: Private Schools
Chapter 13: School Records
Chapter 14: Early Childhood Services
Chapter 15: Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973