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Finally - Your Chance to Be Heard!

Washington, DC. February 12, 2002. This year, Congress is to reauthorize the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Please visit the IDEA 2002 page for news and updates about this important process.

As part of the reauthorization process, groups and committees will study the current law and how it is being implemented. If you are involved in special education, this is a chance to be heard. Get involved! Don’t procrastinate - the VIPs want your comments.

Here are two opportunities to offer your comments.

Comments About the IDEA

The Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (part of the U. S. Department of Education) is requesting comments from the public - that's you - about the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The Department wants answers to specific questions in seven areas:

Personnel Issues
Parent Involvement
Excessive Paperwork
Local School Districts
Use of insurance under Part C

Download and print the Federal Register Notice. Read the questions in this document and answer the questions in those areas where you have experience or familarity.


Deadline: Your comments must be received before February 25, 2002.

Address your comments to: Thomas Irvin, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, U.S. Department of Education, and send them to

In the subject line of your email, type IDEA Reauthorization (no quotes). E-mail is the preferred method of communication.

If you do not have Internet access or prefer to send your comments by mail, please send them to:

Thomas Irvin
Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services
U.S. Department of Education
Mary E. Switzer Building, Room 3086
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202-2570

If you want to make a bigger splash, print several copies of the Federal Register notice and give them to your friends or colleagues who may want to provide comments about the IDEA and changes you would like to see when the law is reauthorized.

Comments About Preschool Programs for Infants and Toddlers

If you are a parent, teacher, service provider or administrator who is involved with Preschool Programs for Infants and Toddlers, the Environmental Scanning Network would like your comments about what is working or not working with preschool programs, or in how preschool programs are being implemented.

The Environmental Scanning Network represents 25 national organizations (IDEA Partnerships) funded by the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services. This network helps to create policies that will affect the lives of children, parents, service providers, and administrators who are involved with Preschool Programs for very young children.

To submit your comments, go to

(NOTE: You must sign up to be a scanner before you can submit comments. Your comments are confidential.) Comments are requested in these areas:

  • Your experiences with Early Childhood Programs of IDEA
  • Your observations and signficance
  • Your recommendations
  • Description of any “best practices” that you've observed related to implementing the IDEA for infants and toddlers in preschool programs.

    (Note: “Best practices” include research-based methodologies that have been shown to be effective for a child’s disability.)

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