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Special Education Rules and Regulations

Federal Laws and Regulations

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)

The IDEA is a federal law that ensures a free appropriate public education (FAPE) to eligible children with disabilities throughout the nation and ensures special education and related services to those children. IDEA governs how states and public agencies provide early intervention, special education, and related services to more than 6.5 million eligible infants, toddlers, children, and youth with disabilities. Children and youth (ages 3 through 21) receive special education and related services under IDEA Part B.

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504)

Section 504 is a federal civil rights law that prohibits recipients of federal funding, such as a school district, from discriminating against individuals with disabilities. The Colorado Department of Education cannot investigate alleged violations of Section 504, or allegations concerning abuse, retaliation, different treatment, or a hostile environment based on a disability. To file a complaint related to these concerns, please contact the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights at 303-844-5695 or

State Laws and Regulations

Exceptional Children's Educational Act (ECEA)

Each state must follow the IDEA, but may also create additional laws and rules. In Colorado, the Rules for the Administration of the ECEA outline specific requirements regarding how the IDEA and special education is to be implemented across the state.

ECEA Rules

Protection of Individuals from Restraint and Seclusion Act

The Rules for the Administration of the Protection of Persons from Restraint Act (PPRA Rules) outline the procedures to be followed in Colorado regarding the use of restraints (such as chemical restraint, mechanical restraint, physical restraint, or seclusion) for all students, including children with disabilities.

PPRA Rules

Exceptional Student Services Unit, 201 E Colfax Avenue, Denver, CO 80203 | Phone: 303-866-6694, Fax: 303-866-6767

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