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The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is a federal law that guarantees to every student with a disability in need of special education, between the ages of three and 22, a free appropriate public education (FAPE). IDEA defines FAPE as special education and related services provided at public expense provided through an Individualized Education Plan (IEP).

Under IDEA, schools must identify students with disabilities and determine how best to provide special education, related services, and educational accommodations to help the student access education.