Thursday, February 9, 2017

More on the IDEA Website: What's There (not much), What's Not (a lot)

The Department of Education took a baby step in restoring information about the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), but many resources that families depend on are missing. Thanks to the Internet Archive Wayback Machine, I took a close look at what was there as recently as Jan. 18 and the lightweight page idea.ed.gov links to now.

Here's a before and after. On the left is what the IDEA microsite used to look like. On the right is the page idea.ed.gov now redirects to -- just a subpage for the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services:

What the homepage of idea.ed.gov looked like on Jan. 18:

From this page, you can choose between IDEA Part B (which applies to ages 3-21) or IDEA Part C (birth to age 2). Here's what the Part B page looked like on Jan. 18:

So basically, the Education Department has this information available:
  • The text of the IDEA statute.
  • The text of the IDEA Part B regulations
  • The text of the IDEA Part C regulations
  • Memos and policy letters from the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services
  • Training resources for state and local agencies
I should also mention that the department's Office of Civil Rights still has this page live, describing the civil rights of students under the Americans With Disabilities Act.

All of the other information and resources for parents, teachers, and school districts is not available, including disproportionality, early intervention, evaluation, funding, how to detect specific learning disabilities, monitoring and enforcement, private schools. and secondary transition. It's missing training materials, model forms, video clips, presentations, and Q&A documents, and more.

The ball's in your court (still), Department of Education. Do you care enough about IDEA and the families and teachers who need this information to fix your technical glitch?

Who will join me in calling the secretary's office at 202-401-3000 every day until this is resolved? Also, tweet to @usedgov, @ED_Spec_Rehab, and @EDCivilRights.



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