The Assistive Technology Mandate

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)

Special education and related services for students are mandated by federal laws that have their roots in Public Law (94-142), which was passed by Congress in 1975. That law was amended in 1991 (PL 101- 476) and again in 1997 (PL 105-17). IDEA guarantees the right of all children with disabilities to a free and appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment. As part of the IEP planning process, IDEA mandates that the assistive technology needs of all students be considered [P. L. 105-17, Section1414 (d)(3)(B)(v)].

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 is an amendment of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 1997. This law is known as IDEA, 2004. It maintains the right of all children with disabilities to a free and appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment.
The mandate is maintained in IDEA 2004 that each child’s need for assistive technology devices andservices must be considered at the IEP meeting. The definition of AT devices and AT services remains unchanged except for a new exception to an assistive technology device which states the term does not include a medical device that is surgically implanted, or the replacement of such device. 20 U.S.C. 1401.

(Assistive Technology Legal Mandates (© 2001) was prepared for the National Assistive Technology Research Institute by A. Edward Blackhurst, Professor Emeritus, Department of Special Education and Rehabilitation Counseling, University of Kentucky.)