The United States Congress building, where laws such as IDEA are passedA reference sheet for Parent Centers from the
Center for Parent Information and Resources (CPIR)
June 2017

This reference list is designed to accompany
CPIR’s Brief for Parent Centers on Free Appropriate Public Education and the Dear Colleague Letter on FAPE issued by OSEP on November 16, 2015. You can use the reference list in staff or board training, to refresh or deepen your understanding of what key terms in IDEA mean, and to find easy-to-read summaries about these terms on CPIR’s site in English and Spanish.

The online version of the reference list presents one term or acronym at a time. This page focuses on IDEA as an acronym.  (Note: To print out or share the ENTIRE reference list as one Word or PDF file, use the links at the very top of this page.)


IDEA | Individuals with Disabilities Education Act

Acronym stands for… | Individuals with Disabilities Education Act

Definition of IDEA | IDEA is the acronym for a law. Public Law 108-446 is called the “Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004.” Its “short title” is Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

For more information about IDEA | Visit CPIR’s suite of pages on IDEA, where you’ll find a brief history of the law, summaries of its requirements, its implementing regulations, and much more. The IDEA suite begins at:

English |
Spanish |

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FAPE   |   IDEA  |   IEP   |   LRE

Child with a disability

Individualized Education Program

Related services

Special education

Supplementary aids and services

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