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Education Law Glossary

Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990
The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) prohibits discrimination based on disability.

Individualized Education Plan
An Individualized Education Plan (IEP) outlines a child’s disability, goals, progress toward goals, and special classroom or testing accommodations.  The IEP must meet the individual needs of the student, in the least restrictive environment. 

Mainstreaming
Mainstreaming is the now common practice of placing special needs children in the regular classroom for as much of the day as is best for the child.  Mainstreaming is part of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act’s requirement that accommodations must be met in the least restrictive environment. 

Accommodations
Accommodations are changes in the classroom that must be made for students who have an IEP; the goal is to provide a supportive environment to lessen the effect of the disability but not to substantially alter what testing measures.  For example, a child with dyslexia may be given extra time to take a test or only be tested on 10 spelling words instead of 20.

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