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If you have questions regarding IDEA qualification, contact one of our attorneys at (203) 221-3100.

What is the IDEA?

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is a federal law that pertains to students aged 3 to 22 attending public educational institutions. To be eligible under IDEA, a child must have a documented disability that impacts their ability to learn.

For instance, if your son has autism, emotional disturbances, blindness, deafness, or another recognized disability, they may qualify for special education services under IDEA. Moreover, every school district nationwide is obligated by law to support students whose disabilities hinder their educational progress.

What is a FAPE?

Free Appropriate Education (FAPE) guarantees that every child with a disability in the United States is entitled to receive special education services at no cost. However, this entitlement does not imply that the school district is obligated to offer the highest quality education available. Rather, it mandates that the district must provide education that is deemed “appropriate” for the individual needs of each child.

Special Education Assessment

IDEA mandates that the school must evaluate your child to determine if there is a learning disability. This evaluation typically includes various tests and assessments and must be completed within 60 days of receiving your consent.

If you disagree with the assessment results, you have the option to request an Independent Educational Evaluation at no cost. Moreover, the school district cannot proceed with the initial evaluation unless they have obtained your fully informed consent. It’s important to note that agreeing to the evaluation does not imply consent to enroll your child in a special education program.

Special Education Placement

If your child qualifies for special education and you decide to proceed with placement, the school district is obligated to find the educational setting that is the least restrictive while still meeting your child’s educational needs. The determination of the least restrictive environment (LRE) usually takes into account your child’s individual strengths and challenges as identified during the evaluation process.

Special Education Transitions

Besides ensuring a suitable learning environment, IDEA mandates that the district develops a plan for your child’s transition from public school to adulthood. This preparation generally starts at age 16 and may encompass various aspects such as college applications, independent living strategies, and vocational skills development.

Maya Murphy P.C. has proudly been included in the 2024 Edition of Best Law Firms®, ranked among the top firms in the nation. In addition, Managing Partner Joseph C. Maya has been selected to The Best Lawyers in America® 2024 for his work in Employment Law and Education Law in Connecticut. Recognition in Best Lawyers® is awarded to firms and attorneys who demonstrate excellence in the industry and is widely regarded by both clients and legal professionals as a significant honor.

Our firm in Westport, Connecticut serves clients with legal assistance all over the state, including the towns of Ansonia, Beacon Falls, Bethany, Bethel, Branford, Bridgeport, Brookfield, Cheshire, Danbury, Darien, Derby, East Haven, Easton, Fairfield, Greenwich, Guilford, Hamden, Madison, Meriden, Middlebury, Milford, Monroe, Naugatuck, New Canaan, New Fairfield, New Haven, Newton, North Branford, North Haven, Norwalk, Orange, Oxford, Prospect, Redding, Ridgefield, Seymour, Shelton, Sherman, Southbury, Stamford, Stratford, Trumbull, Wallingford, Waterbury, West Haven, Weston, Westport, Wilton, and Woodbridge. In addition to assisting clients in Connecticut, our firm handles education law matters in New York as well.

If you have any questions or would like to speak to an attorney about a legal matter, please contact Joseph C. Maya and the other experienced attorneys at Maya Murphy, P.C. at (203) 221-3100 or JMaya@Mayalaw.com to schedule a free initial consultation today.