Justice for All
                  Clinton, CCD Celebrate IDEA

The Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities Joins President Clinton to Commemorate the 25th Anniversary of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act

Disability coalition honors Clinton for eight years of advocacy of  behalf of students with disabilities

Washington, D.C.  The Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD), a national disability coalition, joins President Clinton today in an Oval Office ceremony to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the enactment of P.L. 94-142, now known as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

At the ceremony, President Clinton will celebrate November 29 as the official anniversary date of IDEA. The President will also unveil artwork by eleven-year-old Chicago special education student, Ellen Winkler, who has Down syndrome. Ms. Winkler's winning entry of a CCD- sponsored poster contest will be converted into an IDEA 25th anniversary commemorative poster that will be distributed to all of our nation's schools.

CCD will present President Clinton with an IDEA Hero Award in appreciation for his administration's strong advocacy on behalf of the six million students being served under IDEA over the course of his administration. The Clinton Administration has successfully fought to preserve the fundamental rights under IDEA. Over the past eight years, the Clinton Administration played an instrumental role in increasing funding for IDEA programs by $2.2 billion.

Following the Oval Office ceremony, the U.S. Dept. of Education and CCD will host an IDEA birthday celebration in the Indian Treaty Room in the Old Executive Office Building at 7:00 p.m. CCD and the U.S. Department of Education will be joined by disability advocates, educators, Hill staff, and families and students with disabilities who have benefited from IDEA.

Originally known as P.L. 94-142, the Education for All Handicapped Children Act, this landmark legislation represented a major commitment to providing equal educational opportunities for young children and youth with disabilities and their families. Before this federal law was enacted, many students with disabilities were receiving an inappropriate education or not getting an education at all. In 1970, schools in the United States were educating only one in five children with disabilities. More than one million children with disabilities were excluded entirely from the education system. 

Today, nearly six million young children and youth receive special education and related services because of IDEA programs; and services are provided to almost 200,000 eligible infants and toddlers and their families. In addition, the majority of children with disabilities are now being educated in their neighborhood schools. Many are fully or partially integrated into classrooms with students without disabilities. High school graduation rates and employment rates for students with disabilities have increased dramatically since IDEA was enacted. Post-school employment rates for youth served under IDEA are twice those of older adults with similar disabilities who did not have the benefit of IDEA.

CCD is a working coalition of approximately 100 national disability organizations working together with and on behalf of the 54 million children and adults with disabilities and their families living the United States. CCD played an important role in the original passage of P.L. 94-142 in 1975 and its nationwide implementation. CCD also played a significant role in helping to strengthen the law during subsequent reauthorizations in response to national concerns. Key changes include the mandate for preschool services for children between three and five years old, the establishment of early intervention services for infants and toddlers, a transition authority to better prepare students for adult life prior to leaving school, and new and expanded support programs which underpin the basic state grant program. Legislation authorizing attorneys' fees for parents who prevail in court involving IDEA was also enacted into law. 

Contact: Paul Marchand, CCD 202-785-3388
1730 K Street, NW, Suite 1212  Washington, DC 20006
PH 202/785-3388  FAX 467-4179

Fred Fay
Chair, Justice For All

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