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.
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Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act (IDEA)
The Every Student Succeeds Act and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (ESSA)