The Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act (IDEA) and the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) are federal laws, with state education agency oversight, that support the provision of public education for all children - regardless of the presence, nature, or severity of a disability. Within the language of these laws, physical therapy is identified as a meaningful service within the school system, and designated as a related service (IDEA) or pupil service (ESSA). Nearly 7,000 physical therapists work in the school setting across the US, serving both the general education and special education student populations, to ensure that all students are able to succeed in the classroom and beyond.
It is important that APTA stay engaged with the federal government to pursue legislation, regulations, and other policies that secure and improve the ability of physical therapists to provide their services in the school setting under IDEA and ESSA.
If you'd like additional updates on this and other legislative issues, join PTeam today!
Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act (IDEA)
Physical Therapy in the School System (.pdf)
APTA Summary of Major Changes to IDEA Regulations Part C (.pdf) - 9/28/11
APTA is committed to preserving the provisions of IDEA to ensure that students with disabilities have access to physical therapy services necessary to take full advantage of a free and public education as guaranteed under IDEA.
APTA Comments on Equity in IDEA Proposed Rule (.pdf) - 4/16/18
APTA Comments on OSERS Guidance on Endrew v. Douglas (.pdf) - 2/7/18
The Every Student Succeeds Act and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (ESSA)