The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, established in law in 1975, retains the basic rights and protections for children with disabilities. In 1997, President Clinton signed amendments to the Act that focus on improving the education of children with disabilities by:
- Identifying children with special needs before they enter school and providing services to help them,
- Developing individualized education programs (IEPs) that focus on improving educational results through the general curriculum,
- Educating children with disabilities with their nondisabled peers,
- Setting higher expectations for students who are disabled and ensuring schools are held accountable,
- Strengthening the role of parents and fostering partnerships between parents and schools,
- Reducing unnecessary paperwork and other burdens.