FDT Task 1
Education is of utmost significance in any society and is defined as the knowledge acquired through the process of learning and provision of training. This type of education which is mainly academic is acquired from schools as well as the surrounding world. As a result, education is an important part in the development of an individual and starts from preschool to graduate school. In the early1970s, most schools educated only 2 out of 10 individuals with disabilities (Schoenbaum, 2008). Upon the occurrence of this disparity and inequality, the best and immediate approach to deal with the issue was the enactment of specific laws that would put a stop to this practice. The product of this was the endorsement of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 1975.
Components of the Act
Evaluation is a key component of the act and mostly deals with assessment of the methods of implementation and the effects of the program on individual students. In regards to IDEA procedures, evaluation of children is very important in that it determines individual children requiring special attention. The evaluation process not only deals with the evaluation of students entering the program, but also analyzes and evaluates the process of implementation, taking into consideration the effects of the program on the targeted students.
Children evaluated and found to be suffering disability are deemed qualified for the IEP (individualized education programs), which is offered in public schools for free. IEP is chiefly designed to fulfill the exceptional needs of disabled children as enshrined by IDEA. IEP integrates concepts that make disabled children’s learning process easier, it also describes the learning process and key elements which service providers and teachers must follow to make the learning process these children effective. Services of IEP are provided in a normal school environment and mostly involve use of small classes which enable teachers to concentrate on each student’s case. Concepts of IEP allow parents to be involved in the learning process of their children as well as contribute significantly in establishing plans that make their children succeed in school. Before IEP is established for a child, the learning institution is ought to have first evaluated the child’s eligibility for the program. If the child’s disability is deemed to affect his/her educational progress then he/she qualifies for the program.
IDEA requires schools and other learning institutions to provide FAPE (Free Appropriate Public Education) in an environment that is less restrictive and appropriate for students learning process. FAPE is a clause that requires the country to offer free public education to the children with disabilities. FAPE is guaranteed in the United States, all thanks to IDEA and section 504 of the Rehabilitation act of 1973. FAPE was designed to meet the individual needs of special children and give them access to the general curriculum. Its main aim is to prepare the child with disabilities for the future.
Guidelines of IDEA advocate the application of Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) concepts which allow mainstream placements of children in schools. This Inclusion allows disabled children to be educated with their peers in standard classroom without discrimination. The sixth component concentrates on analysis of an environment that is least restrictive for students to learn in, and include proposals which provide regulations for review of the entire program.
As of 1986, new components IDEA were established .The original program of 1975 had no capacity to be executed in more than 50 states for the reason that public schools were very limited. Nevertheless, the new segment, PL 99-457 (1986) made it possible for families and the government to start special education plans early and this made it possible to identify special cases at a tender age. This reauthorization established a new component known as Early Intervention Amendment, which had capacity to cater for children expected to have issues in schools. A major function of this amendment is that it limits restrictions which students face in the learning process. The amendment promotes expansion of services to children with disability from birth to the age of 5 years.
In the year 1990, section PL 101-476 entirely changed the name of the act to be Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. The 1990 reauthorization concentrates on increasing educational opportunities for disadvantaged individuals in the society. Under this act, two more grant policies were created for schools hosting minority groups. Other provisions of the PL 101-476 (1990) Amendments concentrate on increasing funds for the program, and also allow children ranging from 3-5 years with autism and other emotional problems to be considered for the program (Dewey, 2008). The amendment requires transition services for children affected to commence in not later than 16 years. The transition program required schools to create interagency responsibilities, which would allow smooth progress from school based to post-school based activities.
PL 105-17 (1997) came as an amendment to education act and made provisions that made guardians and parents to be involved in the decision making of their children education. Another provision of this law is that it transferred management of education plans from school authorities to parents of the affected child, hence giving them full control of their children educational development.
IDEA reauthorizations in 2004 changed the way educational activities are handled. Key components involve defining the name “Specific Learning Disability” to mean disorders that make an individual fail to talk, write or spell correctly. Another key component of the amendment is that it provides guidelines that resolve conflicts between parents and school authorities. The law also forbids school authorities from forcing students to obtain medication before they are evaluated. It requires teachers to be highly qualified with certification relevant to special education.
The precise procedure for student referral in relation to evaluation processes varies from one state to another. Chiefly this depends on how well they interpret the IDEA rules and regulations. The first step of IDEA evaluation process is the identification of the child suffering from disability. IDEA guidelines require school teams to convey a meeting immediately after the request is received, in order to address the request for evaluation purposes. Request for evaluation does not necessarily mean that the evaluation will be carried out.
The process involves contacting the child’s school and assessing his/her performance. Before an assessment of the child’s performance is done, a letter has to be written requesting the school psychologist or the administration, to inform you about the performance of the child. The discipline of the child is also evaluated before the final performance. In situations where the school is the source of recommendation, schools are obligated to contact the parents immediately and request for permission to conduct the evaluation process. Nevertheless, prior to proper evaluation and assessments, the affected student must undergo pre-referral interventions, which help identify the apparent behavioral or learning problems. Once this process has been conducted and results show that the student is still in need of special attention, assessment is proposed. This assessment is elucidated as the process of evaluation, that establishes which special services the child should be given and the kind of environment to be offered. The assessment process determines whether the student should learn in isolation or in a normal classroom, and provides basis for analysis. The evaluation process is performed by a multidisciplinary team, which verifies the affected student qualification for the program. The Multi disciplinary team is made up of the parent, a psychologist, a physical therapist, an occupational therapist, a speech therapist, a special educator, a vision or hearing specialist, and maybe other specialist depending on the special needs linked to the child (Garguilo, 2006).
Various assessment techniques are used and the common methods include Norm-referenced tests (NRTs), where the child’s performance is compared to that of other children. This form of standardized test measures and ranks the concepts that the student has learnt. In addition, the Criterion-referenced tests (CRTs) are used to assess the student potential, where the child performance in school is compared to a laid down set of standards. Both this tests provide a sound base for judging whether a child is regarded as a special student or not (Brennen, 1999). Unlike NRTs, CRTs establish the tasks which a child can handle and determines the kind of environment that the student should be subjected to. Moreover, CRT acts as a yardstick which educators can use to measure the affected student educational growth and development. After the evaluation process, the multidisciplinary team sits down again together with all the relevant parties and analyzes the result. This process determines whether a child is eligible for the IDEA program or not. Should the student be viewed as disabled under the IDEA rules, an Individualized Education Program (IEP) is prepared.
For a student’s IEP to be considered, he or she has to be either a very exceptional student when it comes to performing or a disabled child. The parents need to know how to access these services so that they can be effective advocates for their children. The process of creating an IEP plan is conducted within a period of no more than 30 days after the eligibility has been approved.
A student is then referred to a school that suits his or her special needs. They are moved to special schools in most cases that are best suited to meet the specific needs of the special needs. Some, however, go to the normal schools but as earlier stated, they are equipped with special tools. The administration works hand in hand with the students IEP to meet the special needs of the student (Garguilo, 2006).
In conclusion, in order for this Act to work effectively, the legislation calls for all individuals in the special education sector to adhere to the set guidelines in order to achieve the set goals and objectives. Better understanding of special education has the ability to explain the relationship between those who are disabled and those who are not improving their understanding and in the long run improve the education system that is vital for human development.
Brennen, A. (1999). ‘Philosophy of Education.’ Journal of Education, 12(2), 23-34.
Dewey, J. (2008). ‘Unveiling the Philosophy of Education.’ Journal of Education, 12(2), 33-39.
John, K. (2005). Special education. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Schoenbaum, S. (2008). Organizing the U.S. Health Care Delivery System for High Performance, Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press.
Gargiulo, R. M. (2006). Special education in a contemporary society: An introduction
to exceptionality. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth/Thomson Learning.