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Laws and Services

Keywords:Information, Deafness Related Issues, Legal Issues

Submitted by: Jody Fetter and Valerie Friske

Tasks: To give information about the laws and services provided under these specific laws. These laws and services are for disabled individuals and their families.


Turnbull, A. & Turnbull, H.R. (1990). Families, professionals, and exceptionality: a special relationship. New York: MacMillian Publishing Company.


Services that may be provided in the IFSP

1. Special Education: a specially designed instruction that meets the student's unique needs, including classroom instruction, physical education, home instruction, and instruction in hospitals and institutions.

2. Psychologist: a psychoeducational specialist certified to administer formal tests of intellectual and interpersonal functioning.

3. Speech-Language Therapy: trained to diagnose and remediate expressive and receptive communication disorders to ensure the development of communication skills that are the foundation of all language-related learning.

4. Audiological Services: help with hearing problems and the use of hearing aids.

5. Physical Therapy: this specialist intervenes when education alone cannot fulfill the needs of the client because there is an inability to move, a discontinuity in the normal growth process, or a physical rather than a cognitive barrier to learning.

6. Adaptive Physical Educator: this professional is trained in physical education, exercise physiology, and in the special needs of students with mild or severe disabilities. Those providing adapted physical education are trained to provide remediation in the areas of physical and motor fitness, psychomotor skills, leisure and recreation skills, and affective development.

7. Occupational Therapy: assists the client, family, and team members in the design of specialized equipment and the retraining of skills that will enable the special needs student to function in the classroom or on the job.

8. Vocational Specialist: is a vocational educator who is specially trained in preparing students for specific types of vocations, which include a variety of careers related to service industries in agriculture, food services, manufacturing, installation, and repair.

9. School Nurse: may assist in planning for educational programs that involve wellness, substance abuse, and prevention of disease.

10. Dietitian: consultant for students who, because of diabetes or other metabolic disorders, need assistance in planning and monitoring their diets.

11. Counselor: frequently consults with teachers and parents to design individual and group programs that assist students in developing their interpersonal skills and in coping with their emotions.

12. Social Worker: person who is familiar with the variety of community resources and related services that may be used to help the special needs student and the family, and serves as the liaison with professionals in these agencies.

All of these services are provided at no cost to the family.

The Laws of Special Education as They Progressed Through the Years


1. For many years and in many ways schools had excluded students with disabilities from any form of education. These were practices of "pure exclusion", and that one million children and youth with disabilities were receiving no education at all.

2. Congress found that nearly half of the nation's children and youth with disabilities were not receiving an appropriate education.

3. Schools were using psychological or intelligence tests incorrectly and with inappropriate results. For example, a child who speaks only Spanish might be given a test in English.

4. The education of children and youth with disabilities and provision of services to their families makes good sense in terms of other federal policies and for the nation as a whole.


A. Early in the 1970s children with disabilities were faced with such widespread discrimination in education that their advocates decided on a new approach.

1. Led by the Pennsylvania Association for Retarded Children (parents were in the role of advocates), they sued school officials, claiming that children with disabilities have a legal right to an appropriate education under the federal constitution.

a. One basis of their claim was the states have chosen to educate children who do not have a disability and even to educate some (but not all) children who have a disability, schools violate the equal-protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution when they fail to educate all children with disabilities.

b. A second basis for their claim was the Fourteenth Amendment prohibits states from depriving a person of due process. The schools violate the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment when they deny the child an education without giving reason for that action or granting the child's advocates an opportunity to protest the denial.

B. The courts quickly ordered important remedies. They generally required school systems to:

1. identify all school-aged children and;youth with disabilities.
2. give them nondiscriminatory tests.
3. provide them with an appropriate education.
4. educate them with students not having disabilities to the greatest extent beneficial for the children with disabilities.
5. notify parents of proposed changes in educational classification, programming, or placement.
6. give parents opportunities to consent to or protest against schools' decisions.


A. In 1966, Congress enacted P.L. 89-750, Education of the Handicapped Act.

1. This law provided federal grants to help states initiate, expand, and improve special education.

B. In 1969, P.L. 91-230, Elementary, Secondary, and Other Educational Amendments.

1. The purpose was to stimulate the states to develop special education programs.

C. In 1973, Congress enacted Section 504 of the Vocational Rehabilitation Act.

1. Section 504 is a civil rights act for people with disabilities which prohibits any recipient of federal funds, including schools, from discriminating against people solely on the basis of their disability.

D. By 1974, Congress had become so dissatisfied with the states' efforts and so aware of the major victories that it realized the need for more significant laws.

1. In that year, therefore, it substantially increased federal aid to the states, requiring them to adopt a goal of providing full educational opportunities to all children with disabilities as a condition of receiving the federal fund. P.L. 93-380, Education Amendments of 1974.

E. In 1975, Congress enacted P.L. 94-142, Education of All Handicapped Children Act.

1. This law provides benefits for students who have a disability and need special education and related services.

2. Provides for the education of children and youth from age 3 through 21 or until the student leaves the school or graduates before age 21.

3. Six principles of special education law:
a. Zero-reject: Schools must educate all students with disabilities and may not exclude any school-aged student with a disability solely because the student has a disability.
b. Nondiscriminatory evaluation: Schools must test and classify students fairly, essentially by administering nonbiased tests in ways that do not put students at a disadvantage, but allow them to display their educational abilities and disabilities.
c. Appropriate, individualized education: Schools must provide each student with an individually tailored education.
d. Least restrictive educational placement: Schools must educate students who have disabilities with their peers who do not have disabilities to the greatest extent consistent with their educational and social needs.
e. Procedural due process: Schools must provide opportunities for students' parents to consent or object to their children's educational identification, classification, program, or placement.
f. Parent participation: Parents of children with disabilities may participate in various ways in their child's education.

F. In 1986, P.L. 99-457, Education of the Handicapped Act Amendments Law was enacted.

1. This is the Early Intervention With Handicapped Children Act. This provision includes students of all ages, but focuses on birth through age six.

2. Children can be served without being labeled.

3. Parent's instruction is supported through government funding.

4. Also established was a voluntary Handicapped Infant and Toddler Program. Its purpose is:
a. develop and implement a statewide, comprehensive, coordinated multidisciplinary, interagency program of services.
b. facilitate the coordination of resources from federal, state, local, and private sources.
c. enhance states' capacity to provide quality early intervention services.

5. Criteria:
a. children from birth to three are eligible if they evidence a handicapping condition or "at-risk" medically or environmentally for substantial developmental delays if early intervention is not provided.
b. families of children who meet these criteria are eligible also for services.

6. P.L. 99-457 promotes a coordinated and multiagency approach to implementing new early childhood initiatives. This is known as Individualized Family Service Plans (IFSP).
a. a multidisciplinary assessment, an evaluation conducted by professional from diverse disciplines, such as, a classroom teacher of the hearing-impaired, a speech-language pathologist, an audiologist, a psychologist, a social worker, and other appropriate personnel, and written IFSP are required for each eligible child receiving early intervention services.


There has been a great improvement in the laws and services over the last 25 years. Even though there has been these great improvements and mandates there is still a lot more that needs to be done to help these individuals and their families. Everyone in this society should have a chance and the same opportunities, and before these laws were mandated, opportunities were not given fairly.


Are there any new laws that are being presented or are in the works of being mandated?

Who do you contact if the laws and services are not obeyed?


Luekte-Stahlman, B. & Luckner, J. (1991). Effectively educating students with hearing impairments. White Plains, NY: Longman.

Thomas, C., Correa, V. & Morsink, C. (1995). Interactive teaming. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, Inc.

Uploaded by: Melissa Close/Kent State University/ Deaf Education Major