IDEA and NCLB
The Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) provides the underpinnings for the role of occupational therapy in early intervention and school programs for children with disabilities. The 2004 reauthorization of IDEA (IDEA’04, Pub. L. 108-446) and the Part B regulation released in August of 2006 affirm the importance of occupational therapy in helping children with disabilities participate and progress in the general education curriculum.
In addition to maintaining the rights of children and their families, the law will work in concert with the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB ’01, Pub. L. 107-110) that will likely be re-authorized in the 110th Congress to improve the academic achievement of students with disabilities.
AOTA will work with Congress and federal and state education officials to identify ways occupational therapy can help schools meet the needs of all students. Of particular interest during 2007 is establishing opportunities for occupational therapy to be fully utilized as an early intervening service and to be fully integrated into Response to Intervention (RtI) and Positive Behavior Supports (PSB) initiatives.