Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
About the Act
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is a law that makes available a free appropriate public education to eligible children with disabilities throughout the nation and ensures special education and related services to those children.
IDEA governs how states and public agencies provide early intervention, special education, and related services to more than 7.5 million eligible infants, toddlers, children, and youth with disabilities.
Infants and toddlers, birth through age 2, with disabilities and their families receive early intervention services under IDEA Part C. Children and youth ages 3 through 21 receive special education and related services under IDEA Part B.
IDEA includes specific provisions related to special education for students experiencing homelessness.
Regulations and Guidance
- Visit the U.S. Department of Education’s Individuals with Disabilities Education Act webpage
- View IDEA Regulations by Part
- Download Questions and Answers on Special Education and Homelessness
- Download the Office of Special Education Programs' Dear Colleague Letter on Education for Highly Mobile Children
- Download the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services' Dear Colleague Letter on the Education of Children With Disabilities Who Are Homeless
- View the U.S. Department of Education's Letter to State Directors of Special Education on Ensuring a High-Quality Education for Highly Mobile Children (OSEP Policy Support 22-02; Nov 2022)