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Disabled EducationA Critical Analysis of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act$
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Ruth Colker

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780814708101

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814708101.001.0001

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The Education for All Handicapped Children Act

The Education for All Handicapped Children Act

Historical Evolution

(p.17) 2 The Education for All Handicapped Children Act
Disabled Education

Ruth Colker

NYU Press

This chapter discusses the historical and legislative background to the adoption of the Education for All Handicapped Children Act (EAHCA) in 1975. It begins with an overview of the evolution of laws requiring the education of children with disabilities, with particular emphasis on issues of exclusion and segregation. It then examines Congress's passage of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act in 1965 and the Education of the Handicapped Act in 1971 in response to cases in which courts concluded that the constitutional rights of children with disabilities were being violated by their exclusion from school or by their receiving inferior education in segregated classrooms. It also explores the legislative history of the EAHCA and highlights the link between disability discrimination in education and racial segregation. Finally, it analyzes some of the important concepts of the EAHCA that are still basic to federal disability education law, including a free and appropriate public education and individualized education programs.

Keywords:   children with disabilities, exclusion, Education for All Handicapped Children Act, Congress, Elementary and Secondary Education Act, Education of the Handicapped Act, disability discrimination, racial segregation, public education, individualized education program

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