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Department of Education, Betsy DeVos Launches New IDEA Website

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On Thursday, the U.S. Department of Education, under the direction of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, launched a new website dedicated to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

According to the Department of Education, the new website is more “robust” and features new and updated information. The website also includes improved search features and simplified site navigation. Updates and changes were made based on feedback from parents, educators, administrators and advocates, which the Department spent the last two months collecting.

In a statement announcing the website’s launch, DeVos said:

The launch of this new and improved site is a big win for children with disabilities, their families and the entire IDEA community. It is incumbent upon the government to provide accessible and accurate information to our citizens. That’s why one of my first actions as Secretary was to order the Department to fix and revitalize its woefully outdated IDEA site so that parents, educators and service providers could readily access the resources they need.

The update comes almost five months after DeVos’ confirmation hearing in which she was criticized for being unfamiliar with IDEA, a federal law ensuring special education services to children with disabilities. In February, under DeVos’ leadership, the previous IDEA website went offline and suffered multiple outages for several weeks — prompting concern from disability advocates and parents.

“The Department will continue to improve upon the new site by seeking and incorporating feedback from IDEA stakeholders in the coming months,” DeVos added. “We are committed to ensuring all children with disabilities and their families have the supports and services guaranteed under the IDEA.”

The Department of Education’s Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) will continue collecting feedback regarding improvements to the IDEA website on its blog.

Photo credit: Gage Skidmore

Originally published: June 1, 2017
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