Legal Issues and Students with Learning Disabilities


Special Education

Date of this version


Document Type

Book Chapter


learning disabilities, youth with disabilities, Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), legal issues


The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), formerly the Education of All Handicapped Children Act, has exerted a profound influence on the education of students with disabilities. In 2004 major changes were made to the IDEA when it was amended in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act. The category of disabilities that was most profoundly affected by these changes may have been the category of learning disabilities. In this chapter we (a) review the development and major components of the IDEA, (b) explain the important changes in the 2004 amendments for the education of students with learning disabilities, focusing on two specific requirements, and (c) reflect on possible changes in future amendments to the IDEA.

Published in

Learning Disabilities: Identification, Assessment, and Instruction of Students with LD (Advances in Special Education, Vol. 24)

Citation/Other Information

Yell, M. L., & Busch, T. W. (2013). Legal issues and students with learning disabilities. In J. Bakken, F. Obiakor, & A. Rotatori (Eds.), Learning disabilities: Identification, assessment, and instruction of students with LD (Advances in special education, Vol. 24, pp. 1-26). Emerald. https://doi.org/10.1108/S0270-4013(2013)0000024004