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IDEA Parent Guide

by Mary Mazzoni on October 20, 2012

IDEA is the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

It’s the federal law governing special education in the United States.

As the parent of a student with an IEP (Individual Education Plan), you are familiar with many provisions of IDEA. But the law is complex and nuanced.

The National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD) has published a comprehensive parent guide to IDEA.

Whatever your child’s disability may be, this free, user-friendly resource will empower you to effectively navigate the special education process as a fully informed member of the IEP team.

What’s in the NCLD Parent Guide to IDEA?

The Guide is extremely user-friendly. Why? Parents helped to design it.

Here’s a one minute video explaining the IDEA Parent Guide.

Special features include:

  • Simple explanation of terms – Important terms are defined at the beginning of each section, with a comprehensive “Terms to Know” section at the end of the Guide.
  • Parent perspectives - Brief personal stories that illustrate how parents like you have navigated each part of the special education process.
  • Links to tools – Each section includes checklists, lists of questions to ask, templates for correspondence, and other resources to help you plan and organize information as you proceed through the special education process.

The Guide has empowered many families to truly participate as informed members of the IEP team.

How can you access the Guide?

You can download your free copy of the National Center on Learning Disabilities’  IDEA Parent Guide here.

Your turn

Have you used the IDEA Parent Guide? We’d love to hear from you!

Please share your experiences or questions in the comment section below.

Did you find this post helpful? Please share it. Thanks!

Photo Credits:

Post photo –  Gobierno-de-la-Ciudad-de-Buenos-Aires at Flickr

Special Education Flow Chart – National Center for Learning Disabilities

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Valerie Chernek November 13, 2012 at 2:33 pm

Hello Mary!
Thank you for what you do and the information you share.
Please share this link with your readership to learn how to take full advantage of Bookshare, ( Membership to this online accessible book library and the reading technologies are free to U.S. students of any age with a qualifying print disability.

U.S. K-12 administrators, special education teachers, AT and curriculum specialists and parents of children with print disabilities will welcome this educational resource to find K-12 textbooks and literature in accessible formats. Thank you!


Mary Mazzoni November 13, 2012 at 7:46 pm

Thanks for your comment, Valerie.

I’m delighted to sharing the link for Bookshare – it is a tremendous resource!
I’ve written a post about Bookshare and Learning Ally here –

Thanks for all you do at Bookshare!


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