A Thursday release from the US Department of Education:
Today, the U.S. Department of Education launched a new website dedicated to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos directed the Department to expedite the development of a new, updated and more robust site specific to the IDEA after the Department's Building the Legacy: IDEA 2004 (Legacy) site experienced a prolonged outage in February due to technical issues.
"The launch of this new and improved site is a big win for children with disabilities, their families and the entire IDEA community," said Secretary DeVos. "It is incumbent upon the government to provide accessible and accurate information to our citizens. That's why one of my first actions as Secretary was to order the Department to fix and revitalize its woefully outdated IDEA site so that parents, educators and service providers could readily access the resources they need.
"The Department will continue to improve upon the new site by seeking and incorporating feedback from IDEA stakeholders in the coming months. We are committed to ensuring all children with disabilities and their families have the supports and services guaranteed under the IDEA."
The Department's Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) spent more than two months collecting feedback from parents, educators, administrators, service providers and advocates for infants, toddlers, children and youth with disabilities as to what they would like to see on a new IDEA site.
The initial launch of the new website incorporates feedback such as improved search capabilities, expanded content and an easier-to-navigate design compared to the previous Legacy site.
The IDEA is a law that ensures a free appropriate public education to eligible children with disabilities throughout the nation and ensures special education and related services to those children. IDEA stakeholders can continue to provide feedback on the new IDEA website to the Department on the OSERS Blog.IDEA actually does not "ensure" anything. It provides ways for parents to push for services, but in spite of a recent favorable Supreme Court decision, families still face major obstacles.