American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

IDEA 2004 Implications on the Professions

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) of 2004

Learn more about what IDEA 2004 really means and its impact on the professions by reading the following issue briefs.

Higher Education Community in Communication Sciences and Disorders

IDEA 2004 eliminated the requirement that state education personnel standards meet the highest requirement for a profession or discipline in that state. Under IDEA 1997, standards for school-based related services providers must have met the "highest requirement in the state" for a profession or discipline, although waivers were allowed on an emergency, temporary, or provisional basis.

Assistive Technology

IDEA 2004 includes a change to the definition of "assistive technology device. "The Congress added an exception to the existing definition as follows: "The term [assistive technology] does not include a medical device that is surgically implanted, or the replacement of such device." The same exact language was also added as an exception to the "related services" definition.

Birth-to-Six Programs

IDEA 2004 allows States to combine their Part C early intervention and Part B, Section 619 pre-school grants to offer a unified birth to six program to better serve families of children with special needs and to use Part B and Part C monies to do so.

Early Intervening Services

IDEA 2004 allows local educational agencies (LEAs) to use up to 15 percent of its IDEA Part B funds for supportive services to help students in kindergarten through grade 12 not yet identified with disabilities, but who require additional academic and behavioral supports to succeed in a general education environment.

Specific Learning Disabilities

IDEA 2004 retained the definition of specific learning disability as included in previous versions of IDEA since 1975.

Paperwork Reduction/Individualized Education Programs (IEPs)

Paperwork has consistently emerged as a top concern for ASHA's school-based members. ASHA lobbied aggressively Congress to reduce the paperwork burden in the reauthorization of IDEA for related services providers including speech-language pathologists and audiologists. Two major changes related to paperwork requirements—paperwork reduction and modifications to IEPs—are included in the IDEA 2004 legislation.

Qualified Providers

IDEA 2004 eliminated the requirement that state education personnel standards meet the highest requirement for a profession or discipline in that state. Under IDEA 1997, standards for school-based related services providers must have met the "highest requirement in the state" for a profession or discipline, although waivers were allowed on an emergency, temporary, or provisional basis.

Back to ASHA's IDEA website.

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