On November 29, 1975, President Gerald Ford signed into law the Education for All Handicapped Children Act, which later became the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). With the passage of this landmark piece of legislation, the United States opened public school doors to millions of children and youth with disabilities. IEL believes that access to quality inclusive education is a right for all young people. Additionally, IEL has a long history of supporting youth as they transition to adulthood. For youth with disabilities, a core competency in the youth development process is gaining an understanding of disability history, culture, and disability public policy issues as well as their rights and responsibilities.
In recognition of the opportunities provided by IDEA, IEL is collecting stories from students, out-of-school youth, teachers, school administrators, and others who have been personally impacted by IDEA. These stories will be published on the IEL website and shared through social media. IEL encourages creativity in format, media, and content. Stories can be in written, graphic, or video form. Videos should be no longer than three (3) minutes and written submissions should be no longer than 500 words. All pictures should include captions. Submissions are due November 6, 2015. With every submission, please be sure to include your full name, current city and state, a clear photo, and a signed copy of this publicity release. Submissions and questions can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. For examples, visit IEL's ADA Generation web pages.