Advocating in Schools for Children with Disabilities: What's New with IDEA?

Sandra J. Altshuler, Sandra Kopels

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


All social workers who work with children and families, regardless of their practice setting, should be aware of the important educational rights to which children with disabilities and their families are entitled. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (P.L. 101-476), one of the most sweeping laws protecting children with disabilities, was substantially amended in 1997, and its regulatory provisions became legally effective in October 1999. This article provides information about the requirements of the law and the impact of those changes on children's educational rights. The changes discussed and their practice implications include expansion of categories of children with disabilities; new requirements for mobile, homeless, or culturally diverse populations and participants in the individualized education program process; payment for private school placements for children with disabilities; discipline of children with disabilities; and provision of social work services in the schools.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)320-329
Number of pages10
JournalSocial work
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2003


  • Children
  • Disabilities
  • Discipline
  • Educational needs
  • Legal issues
  • Special education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science


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