The EHCA/IDEA

To the maximum extent appropriate, children with disabilities, including children in public or private institutions or other care facilities, are educated with children who are nondisabled.

Special classes, separate schooling or other removal of children with disabilities from the regular educational environment occurs only if the nature or severity of the disability is such that education in regular classes with the use of supplementary aids and services cannot be achieved satisfactorily (34 C. F. R. § 300. 550).

The EHCA/IDEA defined and redefined the role of the parent in the special education process. The role expectations of parents of student’s with special needs evolved beginning with the notion of parents as the sources or causes of their child’s disability, moving to family-centered activities, to developers of services for their child, then to passive recipients of services, auxiliary educators carrying out the plans of the teachers, to political advocates, and finally to their emerging role as educational partner and decision maker (Turnbull and Turnbull, 1998, p. 319).

Conclusively, trends in public education, including common schools, tracking, intelligence testing, progressive movements, desegregation, and litigation either helped or hindered the education of students with disabilities, and all contributed to the framework of the EHCA and the six key principles: FAPE, LRE, nondiscriminatory evaluation, zero reject, procedural rights, and student and parent participation. Shortly after its passage, P. L. 94-142 was hailed as the law that “will probably become known as having the greatest impact on education in history” (Kluger, 1975, p. 595).