IDEA Programs

IDEA: Basic State Grants for Education

IDEA authorizes formula grants to states to cover part of the cost of providing special education and related services to children with disabilities. The education and related services must conform to a federally approved plan.

To qualify for IDEA funding, a state must demonstrate that it has prescribed policies, plans, procedures, and priorities for educating children with disabilities.

The Act stipulates that an individualized education program (IEP) must be developed for each child with a disability. The IEP, which must be reviewed at least annually, includes:

  • The child's current performance levels
  • Annual goals and short-term objectives
  • A description of specific special education and related services to be provided
  • A description of the extent to which the child will be able to participate in regular education programs
  • A statement of the projected initiation date and duration of services
  • Criteria, procedures, and schedules for verifying that short-term objectives are being met

Education agencies are required to provide an opportunity for impartial due process hearings when a parent or guardian presents a complaint relating to the child's identification, evaluation, placement, or program of services.

IDEA: Preschool State Grants

Separate allotments are made to the states to encourage the provision of special education and related services to preschool children (ages 3-6) with disabilities.

IDEA: Early Intervention State Grants

This portion of the Act makes grants to states to develop statewide, comprehensive, multi-disciplinary systems that will provide early intervention services for infants and toddlers with disabilities.

Some of the components that an early intervention system must encompass are:

  • A definition of the term "developmentally delayed"
  • Timely, multidisciplinary evaluations of the infant's/toddler's needs
  • An individualized family services plan (IFSP) for each infant/toddler
  • A system to locate infants/toddlers with disabilities
  • A public awareness program
  • A comprehensive personnel development system

IDEA: Innovative Programs for Children with Severe Disabilities

This project grant program supports innovative approaches to the special education, related services, early intervention, and integration needs of children with severe disabilities.

The grants can be used for research, demonstration, training, and dissemination activities.

IDEA: Post-Secondary Education

IDEA authorizes grants for the development, operation, and dissemination of specially designed or modified programs of the following types:

  • Vocational
  • Technical
  • Post-secondary
  • Continuing education
  • Adult education

These programs must be designed or modified for people who are deaf or otherwise disabled.


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