The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Part B is the federal law that supports special education and related service programming for children and youth with disabilities ages 3-21. The major purposes of the IDEA are:
- to ensure that all children with disabilities have available to them a free appropriate public education that emphasizes special education and related services designed to meet their unique needs and prepare them for employment and independent living;
- to ensure that the rights of children and youth with disabilities and their parents are protected; and
- to assess and ensure the effectiveness of efforts to educate children with disabilities.