What is Special Education?
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) defines special education as a specially designed education plan provided at no cost to children with disabilities to meet their unique needs. IDEA lists 13 categories of special education. They are Autism, Blindness, Deafness, Emotional Disturbance, Hearing Impairment, Intellectual Disability (formerly known as Mental Retardation), Multiple Disabilities, Orthopedic Impairment, Other Health Impaired, Specific Learning Disability, Speech or Language Impairment, Traumatic Brain Injury, and Visual Impairment. Every school district has the legal responsibility to identify, locate and evaluate students who require special education services. To qualify for services, a child must have one of the identified disabilities, AND it must adversely affect their educational performance. The law calls this Child Find.