In The Politics of Autism, I write about special education and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
If you go to www.idea.ed.gov, it redirects to
https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/osers/osep/osep-idea.html with this note: "The servers hosting our idea.ed.gov website are experiencing technical issues. As we work to resolve this issue, information regarding the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act can be found below."
One workaround is to go to http://web.archive.org/web/20170113014037/http://idea.ed.gov/
Washington state Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell today called on new Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos to provide an immediate and detailed explanation for why the resource website for the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) has disappeared.
“The Department’s failure to keep this critical resource operational makes it harder for parents, educators, and administrators to find the resources they need to implement this federal law and protect the rights of children with disabilities,” wrote Senators Murray and Cantwell.
For more than a decade this website, which was released by President George W. Bush’s Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings, has served as a one-stop-shop for resources related to IDEA and its regulations, and the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) has consistently updated this website as Congress has enacted new legislation and the Courts have interpreted the law.
“The website has provided accessible and informative summaries of the law, training materials, sample educational forms, presentations for the public, and so many other user-friendly resources.”
The website now redirects the public to a site that “lacks much of the information previously available.” The Senators are seeking a detailed plan from Secretary DeVos to restore this critical information and to provide the following:
1) Assurances that this website will not be stripped down in any way during your tenure…
2) A detailed timeline of when the centralized resources previously available at www.idea.ed.gov became inaccessible to public view…
3) A detailed plan for restoring the information previously available including all previously available resources for students, parents, schools, districts about their rights under IDEA…
4) The date by which all information previously available at www.idea.ed.gov will again be accessible to the public at a central location….
5) A detailed plan for how parents will be informed of the problems with the website and what has been done to address the problems…
The Senators concluded in the letter by reiterating the importance of the IDEA, which governs how states and local school districts provide services to more than 6 million eligible infants, toddlers, and students with disabilities:
“As you now know, IDEA ensures children with disabilities throughout the country receive access to the services and supports they need to access a free appropriate education in the least restrictive environment…Given your past statements about the IDEA…and the fact the website has been unavailable for an extended period of time, we are certain you are just as anxious as we are that these resources be quickly restored.”
Full letter... click HERE for a PDF.