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Federal Laws and Regulations

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)

IDEA is the federal law that makes available a free appropriate public education to eligible children with disabilities throughout the nation and ensures special education and related services to those children. 

Part 300 of the Code of Federal Regulations (34 CFR) – 34 CFR Part 300 is the federal regulations implementing the IDEA.

Additional Federal Disability Laws

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act:  Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is a federal civil rights law that prohibits discrimination based on disability in any program or activity operated by recipients of federal funds. Section 504 is enforced by the U.S Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights (OCR). For assistance relating to Section 504, please contact OCR’s New York Regional Office at

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA): FERPA (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99) is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. The law applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education.

Additional Resources

 U.S. Department of Education Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP):  OSEP is dedicated to improving results for infants, toddlers, children and youth with disabilities ages birth through 21 by providing leadership and financial support to assist states and local districts.

U.S. Department of Education’s IDEA website: This website brings together information and resources from the Department and its grantees.

U.S. Department of Education’s Student Privacy Policy Office: This office is responsible for the administration and enforcement of federal laws relating to the privacy of students’ education records, and for the provision of technical assistance on student privacy issues for the broader education community.

U.S. Department of Education's OCR: The mission of the OCR is to ensure equal access to education and to promote educational excellence through vigorous enforcement of civil rights in the nation’s schools.