This year is the 35th anniversary of the IDEA. Across the United States, nearly 6.6 million students with disabilities and their families rely on this law to ensure that they enjoy the same educational rights as all children. The initial law, Education for All Handicapped Children Act (Public Law 94-142), was signed into law on November 29, 1975, by then-President Gerald Ford. The IDEA guarantees access to a free, appropriate, public education in the least restrictive environment to every child with a disability. Learn more about IDEA by downloading Thirty-five Years of Progress in Educating Children With Disabilities Through IDEA in PDF or Word format.