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
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
Chair, Justice For
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