The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is a law ensuring services to children with disabilities throughout the nation. IDEA governs how states and public agencies provide early intervention, special education and related services to more than 7 million eligible infants, toddlers, children and youth with disabilities.
Rehabilitation Act of 1973 as amended by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA)
The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), signed into law on July 22, 2014, replaces the Workforce Investment Act of 1998. This legislation and its implementing federal regulations are designed to strengthen and improve our nation's public workforce system and help Americans with significant barriers to employment, including individuals with disabilities, into high quality jobs and careers and help employers hire and retain skilled workers.
The Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, is the major legislative source for programs and initiatives administered by the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA).
The Assistive Technology Act of 2004 is the legislative source for the:
- Assistive Technology State Grant program (ATSG),
- Alternative Financing program (AFP), and the
- Protection and Advocacy for Assistive Technology (PAAT) program, also administered by RSA.
Another legislative source for RSA programs and initiatives is the Randolph-Sheppard Act, as amended.
The Helen Keller National Center Act of 1984 is legislative source for this Office of Special Institutions program, the Helen Keller National Center (HKNC), which provides intensive vocational rehabilitation services on a national basis to individuals who are deaf-blind through a comprehensive rehabilitation training center.
The Act to Promote the Education of the Blind authorizes an annual appropriation for the American Printing House for the Blind (APH) to produce and distribute educational materials adapted for students who are legally blind and enrolled in formal educational programs below the college level.
Gallaudet University, authorized by the Education of the Deaf Act of 1986 (EDA), as amended, is a federally chartered, private, nonprofit educational institution providing elementary, secondary, undergraduate, and continuing education programs for persons who are deaf.
The National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID) was created by Congress in 1965 to promote the employment of persons who are deaf by providing technical and professional education for the Nation's young people who are deaf. The National Technical Institute for the Deaf Act was superseded by the Education of the Deaf Act of 1986 (EDA). This Act continued the authority of the Department of Education to contract with the host institution and provide a federal subsidy to the National Technical Institute for the Deaf so that it may continue to provide postsecondary educational opportunities for individual who are deaf.
In addition, the Department offers many other sources of information and links referencing rehabilitation and education legislation. Some of those links are listed below.
ED's Office of Legislation and Congressional Affairs (OLCA) maintains a list of information on the legislative initiatives of the Department of Education since January 1993.
Information on other education legislation—for example, bills and amendments offered by members of Congress—can be viewed at the Library of Congress's Thomas Web site, where you may select from several databases that provide full bill text, bill summaries, and bill status by sponsor, keyword and bill number. Information about the House and Senate current floor action, committees and members' home pages is available via the House and Senate Web sites.