National Special Education Day Date in the current year: December 2, 2024

National Special Education Day National Special Education Day, sometimes referred to as simply Special Education Day, is celebrated annually on December 2. It was established to highlight the importance of special education and commemorate the anniversary of the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA).

According to Wikipedia, the term “special education” refers to the “practice of educating students in a way that accommodates their individual differences, disabilities, and special needs”. Its main aim is to prevent the exclusion of disabled students from school (even today around 23 million of disabled kids worldwide are excluded from school), as well as to help them to succeed in their studies and achieve a higher level of personal self-sufficiency.

Special education provides accommodations to students with a wide range of disabilities, including physical, developmental, and learning disabilities, as well as communication disorders and emotional and behavioral disorders. These accommodations can include, but are not limited to, a special classroom or specifically adapted teaching area, the use of special technology, different approaches to the teaching process, and more.

In the United States, the right of students with disabilities for special education is ensured by the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA), originally titled the Education for All Handicapped Children Act (EHA). First signed into law in 1975, it guarantees that with disabilities have the same opportunity for education as non-disabled students.

Before IDEA, schools were not required to accommodate students with disabilities, and many disabled students received little to no education. While some states did have special schools for children with disabilities, a lot of parents simply couldn’t afford to have their children attend such schools. And even if they could, special schools did not necessarily offer the same quality of education.

IDEA was instrumental in providing access to education for children with disabilities and increasing their graduation rates. It also helped to combat the stigma surrounding disabilities and stimulated the development of technologies for accommodating disabled students, which also can be used to improve the education of students without disabilities.

The inaugural Special Education Day was celebrated in 2005 to commemorate the 30th anniversary of IDEA. Since its inception, it has been observed every year by educators, students with disabilities, and their families. The main goal of the holiday is to celebrate students with disabilities and honor their progress. It also honors teachers, school administrators, and parents who help to make sure that these students get the education they need and deserve.

How can you observe National Special Education Day? If IDEA has impacted your life or the life of a family member, share your story with others to spread the word about the importance of special education. And don’t forget to promote the holiday on social media with the hashtags #NationalSpecialEducationDay and #SpecialEducationDay.

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National Special Education Day, professional observances, observances in the US, special education, Individuals with Disabilities Act