Your Rights as a Family

​​IDEA – Individuals with Disabilities Education Act

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) was passed in 1997 and guarantees all children with disabilities access to a free and appropriate public education.


  • ​Provides both funding and oversight for early intervention services for children who are deaf or hard of hearing and their families.
  • Governs how states and public agencies provide early intervention, special education and related services to eligible infants, toddlers, children and youth
  • Ensures that infants and toddlers (birth through 2 years, 11 months) receive early intervention
  • Ensures that children and youth (age 3 to 21 years) receive needed special education and related services

Individual Family Services Plan (IFSP)

The Individual Family Service Plan (IFSP) is a plan used to guide education from birth to age three. The IFSP is family-centered and includes goals for both the child and family. It is designed to help families and professionals work together to meet the developmental needs of the child and provide support for the family.

  • You will be offered access to a services coordinator, who helps families fulfill their needs by coordinating the work of team members and community resources.
  • The IFSP includes several important parts:
    • ​Assessment of the infant's current achievements
    • A list of family strengths
    • Major goals, or outcomes expected from the program
    • Specific services needed to achieve those outcomes
    • Timelines for achieving goals
    • A list of team members, and
    • A plan for transition into preschool or some other program.

For more information on the IFSP process:

Individual Education Plan (IEP)

An IEP includes an outline of the goals and objectives developed for your child. This team is made up of teachers, professionals who will be working with your child, and you, the parent. An IEP addresses how goals and objectives will be reached, and should include ways to measure your child's progress. To learn more about the IEP, view the resources below

For more useful information on IDEA: