Individuals with Disabilities Education ACT (IDEA) \ PL 94-142

Originally named the Education of All Handicapped Children Act, Public Law 94-142 was passed by congress in 1975, and renamed the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) in 1990.

The goal of IDEA was to protect the rights of deaf and disabled children and their parents by requiring states to provide them with a "free, appropriate public education" (FAPE). PL 94-142 also requires a child be educated in the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE). In deaf education the LRE can vary greatly between students- for some mainstreaming with an interpreter may be the least restrictive, while others have better success in state schools for the deaf.

Federal funding is used to provide states the resources necessary, and the Federal government is responsible for assessing the effectiveness of special education programs.