How Do Laws Affect You?
There are three federal laws that protect the rights of those with disabilities.
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA): This is the law that provides special education. It requires public schools to meet the needs of eligible K–12 students with disabilities. Schools do this by providing services through an Individualized Education Program (IEP).
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (Section 504): This civil rights law prohibits disability discrimination at schools that get federal funding. K-12 schools and collages provide accommodations to meet these requirements.
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA): This is a civil rights law that's purpose is to make sure that people with disabilities have the same rights and opportunities as everyone else. It prohibits disability discrimination in all areas of public life, including jobs, schools, transportation, and all public and private places that are open to the general public.
Most states have some form of literacy legislation. Educators and administrators should understand the literacy laws in their state to best serve their students and to be compliant. As a parent, understanding the legislation in your state can help you to advocate effectively for your child.
Thanks to some amazing advocates Connecticut has passed quite a bit of literacy legislation over the years. Some highlights are:
- All programs of teacher preparation leading to professional certification are required to include, as part of the curriculum, not fewer than 12 hours of instruction in literacy skills and processes that reflects current research and best practices in the field of literacy training and detection and recognition of, and evidence-based structured literacy interventions for students with dyslexia.
- Each local or regional board of education shall provide an in-service training program for its teachers, administrators, and pupil personnel who hold the initial educator, provisional educator, or professional educator certificate. Such program shall provide such teachers, administrators, and pupil personnel with information on the teaching of the language arts, reading and reading readiness for teachers in grades kindergarten through three, inclusive, the detection and recognition of, and evidence-based structured literacy interventions for students with dyslexia.