NASISP Policy Issues

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)

In 1975, President Ford signed into law The Education for All Handicapped Children Act, now known as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), legislation which transformed the educational opportunities and outcomes for children and youth with disabilities.

IDEA, which serves children from birth through young adulthood, mandates the right to a free appropriate public education and seeks to create a system that builds on students’ strengths and addresses individual needs. Today, over six million children and youth directly benefit from IDEA’s early intervention and special education programs.
Specialized Instructional Support Personnel (SISP) are integral to the implementation of IDEA. Indeed one of the purposes of IDEA is 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 further education, employment, and independent living.” As professionals who provide a variety of school-based prevention and intervention services, SISPs assist students in becoming effective learners and productive citizens.

In 2004, President Bush signed into law the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act. Since that time, the U.S. Department of Education has released final regulations for the IDEA Grants to States Program for school-aged children (Part B) and the IDEA Infants and Toddlers with Disabilities Program (Part C).

NASISP has had continual involvement in all aspects of IDEA. Efforts have included recommendations for the reauthorization of IDEA, the development of regulations for IDEA 2004, ongoing efforts to improve IDEA’s implementation, and to improve the provision of related services. Such efforts include:

In addition, many NASISP organizations have their own issues and recommendations, as well as summary information. We encourage you to visit their respective websites for more information on these specific issues.

NOTE:  All documents from NAPSO should now be recognized as NASISP documents. The new coalition name has been in effect since 2012.