IDEA and Child Find

About the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)

Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), the District of Columbia is required to identify all children with disabilities from birth to 21 years of age. By identifying children with disabilities, the District of Columbia can provide them with the support and services they need to succeed in school.

The Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) identifies infants from birth to 3 years of age through their early intervention program Strong Start. If you have a concern about a child younger than 2 years, 8 months, call 202-727-3665 or email to make a referral.

The District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) and DC Public Charter Schools identify children between the ages of 3 and 21. This includes DC children who do not yet attend school and out-of-state children who attend private schools in the District.

Download our Child Find System Policy

Children With Disabilities

To learn more about the process of serving children with disabilities, please visit the following sites:

U.S. Department of Education
Searchable access to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities
Provides information about disabilities, special education, and related services for children in school. Includes information on Individualized Education Programs (IEPs), disability organizations, professional associations, and laws.

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