Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Law and Legal Definition

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is a federal law enacted in 1990 and reauthorized in 1997. IDEA was created to protect the rights of students with disabilities by ensuring that everyone receives a free appropriate public education, regardless of ability. IDEA not only grants equal access to students with disabilities. It provides additional special education services and procedural safeguards. IDEA provides services to students from birth to the age of 21.