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Osborne, A. G., & Russo, C. J. (2003).  Special education and the law: A guide for practitioners  (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

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DeMitchell, T., & Kearns, G. (1997).  Where to educate Rachel Holland? Does least restrictive environment mean no restrictions?  Clearing House, 70(3), 161-166. doi:10.1080/00098655.1997.10543918

Edwards, C. C., & Da Fonte, A. (2012).  The 5-Point Plan Teaching Exceptional Children, 44(3), 6-13.

Lake, J. F., & Billingsley, B. S. (2009).  An Analysis of Factors that contribute to parent-school conflict in special education (Links to an external site.) Remedial and Special Education, 21(4), 240-251. Retrieved from https://journals-sagepub-com.proxy-library.ashford.edu/doi/pdf/10.1177/074193250002100407?

Wellner, L. (2012).  Building parent trust in the special education setting. Leadership, 16-19 (Links to an external site.) . Retrieved from http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ971412.pdf


ECACorg. (2011, October 30).  The IEP team process: Chapter 2 – The IEP team  (Links to an external site.)  [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QMctXPmG7bc#t=84

ECACorg. (2011, October 30).  The IEP team process: Chapter 3 – What’s Included in the IEP  (Links to an external site.)  [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BIi0xanOVcs

National Center for Education Statistics. (2014, January).  Percentage of students ages 6–21 served under the individuals with disabilities education act, part b, placed in a regular public school environment, by amount of time spent inside general classes: Selected school years 1990–91 through 2011–12 (Links to an external site.)  [Graph]. Retrieved from http://nces.ed.gov/programs/coe/indicator_cgg.asp


Baumel, J. (2011).  Special education FAQ (Links to an external site.) . Retrieved from http://www.greatschools.org/special-education/legal-rights/521-special-education-faq.gs

Center for Parent Information and Resources. (2014, March).  Considering LRE in placement decisions (Links to an external site.) . Retrieved from http://www.parentcenterhub.org/repository/placement-lre/#regular

Council for Exceptional Children. (2015).  Special education professional ethical principles and practice standards (Links to an external site.) . Retrieved from http://www.cec.sped.org/Standards/Ethical-Principles-and-Practice-Standards 

Education Law. (2012, February 19). com/336-honig-v-doe.html”> Honig v. Doe (Links to an external site.) . Retrieved from http://edufindlaw.com/336-honig-v-doe.html

Great Schools. (n.d.).  IDEA 2004 Close Up: Evaluation and eligibility for specific learning disabilities – Learning disabilities & ADHD (Links to an external site.) . Retrieved from http://www.greatschools.org/special-education/LD-ADHD/943-evaluation-and-eligibility-for-specific-learning-disabilities.gs?page=all

IDEA. (n.d.).  IDEA – Building the legacy of IDEA 2004 (Links to an external site.) . (n.d.). Retrieved from http://idea.ed.gov/explore/view/p/%2Croot%2Cstatute%2CI%2CB%2C612%2Ca%2C1%2C

Kids Together, Inc. (2010, June 29).  Sacramento v. Rachel H (Links to an external site.) . Retrieved from http://www.kidstogether.org/right-ed_files/rachel.htm

ParentCenterHub. (n.d.).  Contents of the IEP (Links to an external site.) . Retrieved from http://www.parentcenterhub.org/repository/iepcontents/

Partners for Student Success. (2014, January 19).  Procedural safeguards for children and parents (Links to an external site.) . Retrieved from https://www.ssdmo.org/public_notices/safeguards.html

ProjectIDEAL. (2013). org/v/special-education-law“> Special education law (Links to an external site.) . Retrieved from http://www.projectidealonline.org/v/special-education-law 

Special Education News. (2009). com/special-education-dictionary/eha—education-for-all-handicapped-children-act.htm”> EHA – Education for all handicapped children act (Links to an external site.) . Retrieved from http://www.specialednews.com/special-education-dictionary/eha—education-for-all-handicapped-children-act.htm

Stansberry, K. (2015).  Understanding 504 plans (Links to an external site.) . Retrieved from https://www.understood.org/en/school-learning/special-services/504-plan/understanding-504-plans

U.S. Department of Education. (n.d.).  Building the legacy: IDEA 2004 (Links to an external site.) . Retrieved from http://idea.ed.gov/explore/view/p/%2Croot%2Cstatute%2CI%2CB%2C612%2Ca%2C5%2C

U.S. Department of Education. (2015).  Thirty-five years of progress in educating children with disabilities through IDEA– Pg 10 (Links to an external site.) . Retrieved from http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/osers/idea35/history/index_pg10.html

U.S. Department of Education. (2015).  What is the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) (Links to an external site.) . Retrieved from http://adata.org/learn-about-ada

U.S. Government Publishing Office. (2014).  Off. of spec. educ. and rehab. services, education (Links to an external site.) . Retrieved from http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CFR-2014-title34-vol2/pdf/CFR-2014-title34-vol2-sec300-114.pdf

Wrightslaw. (2015).  Board of Education of the Hendrick Hudson Central School District v Amy Rowley (Links to an external site.) . Retrieved from http://www.wrightslaw.com/law/caselaw/ussupct.rowley.htm

Week One Instructor Guidance

Welcome to ESE603,Law and Ethics in Special Education and congratulations on successfully completing your first class!This is the second course in the MA, Special Education (MASE) program.

The MASE program has been designed to develop your capacity as a leader in the field.  In this course and the program as a whole, you will focus on the basic legal principles and pivotal legislation that contribute to the placement, instruction, service delivery, and privacy issues of those who have a qualifying disability under the federal law.  You will also have the opportunity to identify critical issues that may lead to ethical and legal conflicts of interdisciplinary team participants, as well as proactive strategies for resolution.

Each week before beginning your assignments and initial discussion board post, it is necessary that you review the Instructor Guidance. The Instructor Guidance is an integral part of the course because it is intended to supplement the required and recommended readings, videos and multimedia webpages for each week of material and also provides important and required resources for your success in this course and beyond. 

In this course the practical applications are found within the scenarios and introduction in each week. This information is equivalent to what is presented in a face-to-face learning environment where the Instructor presents new information.  The Instructor Guidance should be used to support your discussion posts, responses, and other required assignments.

As you may recall, the MASE program is founded on the following assumptions a) all children can learn; b) children have diverse learning styles; c) and the teacher’s belief in each child’s abilities supports the child’s success. As with all of your courses, it is imperative that you embrace the premise that, regardless of ability level, cultural background, or learning differences, in physically and emotionally safe environments, all children can learn.

You will explore the fundamental legal principles and key legislation that have contributed to today’s required special education procedures.You will also learn how disputes between parties can be effectively managed or resolved by the use of proactive strategies.  The main federal law that drives the field of special education, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), has protections and mandates for due process that support successful resolution of procedural and substantive matters.

Federal Involvement in the Education of Students with Disabilities

As we begin the course we focus first on the laws that support the development of special education in the United States.  Essentially, the term “law” refers to the rules that govern activities in a society (Yell, 2012). Providing a background of this information is important for your global understanding of the nature of special education and why it appears that there are so many rules to follow.  Because children with disabilities were systematically excluded from public school over the years, these laws have created equal opportunities. Still, much work needs to continue to attain the goal of delivering a meaningful education for all children with disabilities.

The Education for All Handicapped Children Act(EHA) (1975), also known as Public Law 94-142, was signed into law by President Gerald Ford in 1974 and became official in 1975.  This legislation set into motion many of the current procedures and requirements for equal access to the educational environment for all students, including those with documented disabilities.

Previous to 1975, students with disabilities were essentially excluded from public schools.  Others were enrolled in schools but were not receiving a meaningful education to address their needs (Yell, Drasgow, Bradley, &Justesen, 2004).  In fact, according to Yell (2012) in 1974 there were well over 1.75 million studentswith disabilities who did not receive educational services. The civil rights movement created an increased social awareness of this prevention of basic rights such as attending public school. These startling statistics provided the impetusfor President Ford to endorse this groundbreaking new legislation.

Through the vigorous efforts of parents, teachers, and advocacy groups, the educational rights of children with disabilities were gained through the courts and legislatures over the past fifty years.  Below is a timeline of the progression of significant special education laws:

Figure 1. Progression of laws in the field of special education.  This figure illustrates the progression of some of the significant laws in the field of special education.

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act

The original federal law, The Education for All Handicapped Children Act of 1975, has changed to what we now know as the Individuals with Disabilities Improvement Act (2004) [(referred to as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) throughout].  Reauthorized, or in other words updated by Congress, in 1990, 1997 and 2004, the IDEA is the landmark federal law that provides significant protections to students with disabilities. 

As a result of this legislation, special education services are individualized to meet the unique needs of students with disabilities and these services are provided in the least restrictive environment.  Special education may include individual or small group instruction, curricular or instructional accommodations, assistive technology or other specialized services such as occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech and language therapy.  These services are to be provided in accordance with the Individualized Education Program (IEP), which is specifically designed by a multidisciplinary team, which includes the child’s parents.

The required reading in your textbook for this week details this information.  The below slide provides the main concepts of the IDEA, most of which will be studied in this class:

Figure 2.  Components of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.  Source: SlideShare.  http://www.slideshare.net/sander60tx/ch02-13407968

Who Receives Services?

Children between the ages of 3 and 21, who meet the eligibility criteria in one of thirteen qualifying disabilities and who require special education services because of the disability,can qualify for services under IDEA. Your next course, ESE610 Assessment and Evaluation of Students with Mild to Moderate Disabilities will feature the procedures and legal considerations for this process.  

The categories of disabilities under the IDEA are: autism, deaf/blind, deafness, hearing impaired, mental retardation, multiple disabilities, orthopedic impairment, serious emotional disturbance, specific learning disabilities, speech or language impairment, traumatic brain injury, visual impairment including blindness, and other health impairment. To be eligible, a student must have a disability that adversely affects her or his educational performance and must need special education in order to receive an appropriate education.

As you are learning about these various categories, here is a website that can be a tremendous resource for you.  Just click on the link below the picture to get to the website.  This may be one that you consider saving to your link library.

Categories of Disability Under the IDEA (Links to an external site.) 

Week One Discussion Guidance

As usual, we begin this course by introducing ourselves in the  Post Your Introduction discussion forum.In this discussion you will describe your current professional position and your goals for professional advancement.  In this post you will share your experiences with special education law either as a teacher or parent or another role.  Making initial connections between this course and your previously completed course, ESE601, is a topic to explore.  Answering the question in your initial post, “How does this information prepare me for my work in the field?” can be advantageous as well.

In the second discussion for this week,  Key Historical Events , you are asked to summarize how the amendments to the IDEA demonstrate a progression in the protections and rights for students with disabilities.  In your response, you have the opportunity to locate and share a related resource such as a website or article that questions, supports, or refutes what you have read in your peers’ initial posts.

Please review the discussion board rubric prior to your initial post to ensure you are fully meeting each of the set criteria to earn full credit. As per the rubric requirements your initial post should include relevant professional, personal, or other real-world experiences in a manner that is rich in thought and provides valuable insight into the topic.

Additionally, all elements of the discussion board prompt should be thoroughly addressed with strong and precise connections to previous and/or current course content, or to real-life situations. When substantively replying to your peers’ post, be sure to provide a thorough and constructive analysis relating the response to relevant course concepts that incorporates pertinent follow-up thoughts or questions about the topic, and demonstrates respect for the diverse opinions of fellow learners.

Finally, while it may difficult to do for all the responses to your posts, please make an effort to respond back to those who took the time to respond to your initial posts.  It is the courteous and gracious thing to do, and has the potential to make our classroom community discussions more interesting and thought-provoking. Answering questions posed by your peers invites continued learning, meaningful application, and relevant extension of the discussion.

Week One Assignment Guidance

Six Principles of IDEA assesses your ability to describe the components of the IDEA as it pertains to current special education practices in the public school setting and to evaluate the effects of legal mandates that contribute to the development of compliant programs, supports, and services.

In this assignment, you are considering not only the IDEA, but also the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.  All threegovern the rights of children with disabilities, however each federal law has specific objectives that serve to provide equal access.  The three laws were intentionally designed toprovideindependent guidelines for those with disabilities. This chart below demonstrates the scope of each of the three laws:

Figure 3.  Three key federal laws.  This figure shows the interrelatedness of three key federal laws. 

Using support from your assigned reading, the Instructor Guidance, and the discussions, you are asked to write a paper intended for an audience of parents, general educators, and community leaders who are interested in learning more about this significant legislation.  Specific guidelines are provided in the assignment for the content and written expectations – be sure to review.

Make sure to use the Grading Rubric as a self-checklist before submitting the final copy of your assignment to confirm you have met or exceeded each required expectation. The highest level of achievement on the rubric is “distinguished”, which is only earned through exceeding posted expectations at the proficiency level.Please remember you are in a masters-level program. Therefore, your writing, research, and content are held to graduate-level expectations.


Save this written assignment in your electronic portfolio (ePortfolio).  As you recall, your ePortfolio serves as a collection of evidence to support the development and mastery of competencies as you progress through this program and you will re-visit it in ESE 699, your MASE program capstone course.


Categories of Disability Under IDEA: Center for Parent Information and Resources. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.parentcenterhub.org/repository/categories/

Chapter 2: Special Education History and Laws. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.slideshare.net/sander60tx/ch02-13407968

edu402fall10class – IDEA & 504 Sec 2. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://edu402fall10class.wikispaces.com/IDEA+%26+504+Sec+2

Yell, M. L. (2012). The law and special education. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.

Yell, M. L., Drasgow, E., Bradley, R., & Justesen, T. (2004). Critical legal issues in special education. In A. McCray Sorrells, H. J. Reith, & P. T. Sindelar (Eds.), Issues in special education (pp. 16-37). Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon.

Guided Response: Review the posts of your classmates and that of your instructor. Respond to by including a website or scholarly source that endorses, questions, or refutes what you have read regarding the transformation of legislation since the passage of Public Law 94-142. Then, analyze how the resource you selected relates to your peer’s reflection of the impact the development of this law has had in protecting the rights of children with disabilities. Does it contradict what was written? Does it serve as supporting evidence? It is suggested that the resources shared in this discussion prompt be saved in a “link -library” to be used for reference later in the class, future course work and professional practice.

Response 1

Lee Light

According to Project IDEAL (2013), there is a summarization and overview of Special Education law that is always changing which consists of the ability for each state to add regulations to the federal law but not change it. Before public law addressed appropriate education for children with disabilities there were two groups of children, those with disabilities who were excluded from public education and those without disabilities who attended appropriate public education (US Department of Education, 2015). This was addressed in a congressional concern in 1975 known as the Education for All Handicapped Children Act or public law 94-142 in which they wanted to improve how children with disabilities were identified and educated, offer protection to children and families, and evaluate the success of their efforts (US Department of Education, 2015). According to the instructor guidance for week 1, this legislation set many of what we know as current procedures and requirements into motion for equal access for all children in educational environments including those with disabilities. IDEA was developed with the design to give parents the ability to problem solve possibilities and to obtain help in gaining fair education for their disabled child (Special Education News, 2009). This then added to other federal acts such as the 504 in 1973 saying no individual can be excluded which helps to fill in a gap offering more support to those who do not qualify for special education under IDEA (Project IDEAL, 2013).  IDEA gave the states a legal requirement to provide free early intervention services and education to children with disabilities from early childhood through high school with the goal that no child be left out of education. Also in 1990 was the ADA or the Americans with Disabilities Act which was a civil rights law for all individuals with disabilities to be given the same rights in every area of life under such pretenses as non-discrimination of race, color, sex, national origin, or religion (US Department of Education, 2015).Over the years the amendments to the Individuals with Disabilities Act have consistently evolved to give children free appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment and rights that help give them a foundation and prepare them for an independent life and the ability to become employed as they enter society from childhood education (Special Education News, 2009). Further amendments addressed all individuals with disabilities reaching out to every area of life. The amendments added new discipline provisions, IEP contents, and provided mediation to parents prior to the due process hearing. With the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act; they then defined “highly qualified”, removed the short-term objectives requirement, and encouraged the use of the response to intervention model. Each amendment made to IDEA has improved the rights and abilities of those with disabilities and their families whether it be in education or entering into the rest of the working world. Special education law provides for an appropriate and equal public education as intended by the original iteration of the IDEA, public law 94-142 as well as the current governing law. Since the development of Special education law, as stated in the instructor guidance for this week; the result of legislation for children on special education services now are individualized to meet the needs of every child as an individual. This includes free public education and any supplemental aids and services that a child needs to be provided in the least restrictive environment including nondiscriminatory assessment, procedural safeguards, and parent participation.The impact that the development of these laws has had in protecting the rights of children with disabilities has been instrumental in changing how people view disabilities and the learning capabilities of children. All children can learn and now can access free and appropriate public education in addition to any related service that may assist a child in reaching their educational capabilities while staying in a typical educational environment. The Center for Parent Information and Resources (2019, May 4) explains the term “child with a disability” and defines each Part B developmental disability category. This offers an explanation to parents and families not only about disabilities but how IDEA can support their children if educational performance is adversely affected due to a disability. These laws protect children from being discriminated against due to disability and offer them the same rights as every other individual. ReferencesCenter for Parent Information and Resources. (2019, May. 4). Retrieved from http://www.parentcenterhub.org/categories/#asd (Links to an external site.) ProjectIDEAL. (2013). Special education law (Links to an external site.) (Links to an external site.) . Retrieved from http://www.projectidealonline.org/v/special-education-law (Links to an external site.) Special Education News. (2009). EHA – Education for all handicapped children act (Links to an external site.) (Links to an external site.) . Retrieved fromhttp://www.specialednews.com/special-education-dictionary/eha—education-for-all-handicapped-children-act.htm (Links to an external site.) U.S. Department of Education. (2015). Thirty-five years of progress in educating children with disabilities through IDEA– Pg 10 (Links to an external site.) (Links to an external site.) . Retrieved from http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/osers/idea35/history/index_pg10.htmlResponse 2Liz Abott   IDEA was designed for parents to reach out for help in finding methods to provide their children with disabilities a fair education. As time progressed there have been adjustments made to IDEA. The law is always changing to allow amendments to be added rather than changing the law. There are safety measures within the IDEA that protects the rights of the children and families with disabilities. Such measures as written permission before a placement and parent involvement in meetings such as IEP. The confidentiality is protected for the families and the children. Children are entitled to a fair education and should get and have the best experience in learning the skills and tools to improve their quality of life (Osborne & Russo, 2003).                Over the years the amendments to the Individuals with Disabilities Act have consistently evolved to give children free appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment and rights that help give them a foundation and prepare them for an independent life and the ability to become employed as they enter society from childhood education (Special Education News, 2009). There are now amendments in place to provide early intervention for infants and toddlers with disabilities. With the protection and laws in place for our children with disabilities, they are now receiving the modifications needed to join peers in the classroom, such as visual aids, hearing devices, and technology that will allow a fair education.                From a personal experience the impact these laws have had on protecting our children is tremendous. As a child with a disability attending public school was not a great experience. I was labeled, judged, and there were no modifications provided for me while I was in school. I can remember times that I received a low grade in gym class because I could not complete certain activities like my peers could. I felt ashamed because, my grade should not had been based on what peers could do, instead there should have been an alternate activity based on my abilities. With the new laws, amendments, and protection for our children they will have the necessary resources, aids, and modifications to ensure they are being treated fairly.  They will hopefully never be ashamed of themselves because of their disability.  References Osborne, A. G., & Russo, C. J. (2003). Special education and the law: A guide for practitioners (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press. Special Education News. (2009). EHA – Education for all handicapped children act (Links to an external site.) (Links to an external site.) (Links to an external site.) . Retrieved fromhttp://www.specialednews.com/special-education-dictionary/eha—education-for-all-handicapped-children-act.htmResponse 3Dot sanderssummarize how the amendments of IDEA addressed the progressive improvements of special education in meeting the needs of children with disabilities.If I recall, IDEA allows for students with disabilities to obtain a free education within the least restrictive environment.  IDEA mandates that schools adapt instructional curricula to meet the individual needs of each student with a disability (June 2018).  In my previous class several classes back, if I recall as well, under IDEA, a child is able to begin services at age 3 and continue through the age of 21 or the end of high school.  Without IDEA, students whom have disabilities could/would be considered outcasts and would most likely not be taught to the best of their ability.  Under IDEA there are Thirteen different categories, and a special needs student must come under at least one of those categories to be considered for the program. Then, explain how special education law provides for an appropriate and equal public education as intended by the original iteration of the IDEA, Public Law 94-142, as well as the current governing law. 94-142 guaranteed a free appropriate public education to each child with a disability (November 2010).  This particular law had several benefits for students.  There was a dramatic, positive impact on millions of children with disabilities in every state and each community across the country (November 2010).  Under this law, children are able to receive instruction in a normal classroom which would be considered a least restrictive environment.   Complete your initial post by reflecting on the impact that the development of these laws have had in protecting the rights of children with disabilities.I feel without these laws, children today, my children wouldn’t have a chance, and would be pushed a side because they were different.  By having these laws such as No Children Left Behind, I feel it forces the educational community to pull together, to give each student within the classroom setting the best possible option at succeeding.   Individuals with Disabilities Education Ace (IDEA) August 2017https://www.apa.org/advocacy/education/idea (Links to an external site.)U.S. Department of Education (November 2010)https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/osers/idea35/history/index_pg10.html

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