20 U.S. Code § 1401 - Definitions
Except as otherwise provided, in this chapter:
(1) Assistive technology device
(A) In general
The term “assistive technology device” means any item, piece of equipment, or product system, whether acquired commercially off the shelf, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of a child with a disability.
(2) Assistive technology service
The term “assistive technology service” means any service that directly assists a child with a disability in the selection, acquisition, or use of an assistive technology device. Such term includes—
(A) the evaluation of the needs of such child, including a functional evaluation of the child in the child’s customary environment;
(B) purchasing, leasing, or otherwise providing for the acquisition of assistive technology devices by such child;
(C) selecting, designing, fitting, customizing, adapting, applying, maintaining, repairing, or replacing assistive technology devices;
(D) coordinating and using other therapies, interventions, or services with assistive technology devices, such as those associated with existing education and rehabilitation plans and programs;
(E) training or technical assistance for such child, or, where appropriate, the family of such child; and
(3) Child with a disability
(A) In general
The term “child with a disability” means a child—
(i) with intellectual disabilities, hearing impairments (including deafness), speech or language impairments, visual impairments (including blindness), serious emotional disturbance (referred to in this chapter as “emotional disturbance”), orthopedic impairments, autism, traumatic brain injury, other health impairments, or specific learning disabilities; and
(B) Child aged 3 through 9
The term “child with a disability” for a child aged 3 through 9 (or any subset of that age range, including ages 3 through 5), may, at the discretion of the State and the local educational agency, include a child—
(i) experiencing developmental delays, as defined by the State and as measured by appropriate diagnostic instruments and procedures, in 1 or more of the following areas: physical development; cognitive development; communication development; social or emotional development; or adaptive development; and
(4) Core academic subjects
(5) Educational service agency
The term “educational service agency”—
(A) means a regional public multiservice agency—
(i) authorized by State law to develop, manage, and provide services or programs to local educational agencies; and
(6) Elementary school
The term “elementary school” means a nonprofit institutional day or residential school, including a public elementary charter school, that provides elementary education, as determined under State law.
The term “equipment” includes—
(A) machinery, utilities, and built-in equipment, and any necessary enclosures or structures to house such machinery, utilities, or equipment; and
(B) all other items necessary for the functioning of a particular facility as a facility for the provision of educational services, including items such as instructional equipment and necessary furniture; printed, published, and audio-visual instructional materials; telecommunications, sensory, and other technological aids and devices; and books, periodicals, documents, and other related materials.
(8) Excess costs
The term “excess costs” means those costs that are in excess of the average annual per-student expenditure in a local educational agency during the preceding school year for an elementary school or secondary school student, as may be appropriate, and which shall be computed after deducting—
(A) amounts received—
(ii) under part A of title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 [20 U.S.C. 6311 et seq.]; and
(9) Free appropriate public education
The term “free appropriate public education” means special education and related services that—
(A) have been provided at public expense, under public supervision and direction, and without charge;
(C) include an appropriate preschool, elementary school, or secondary school education in the State involved; and
(10) Highly qualified
(A) In general
For any special education teacher, the term “highly qualified” has the meaning given the term in section 9101 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 [20 U.S.C. 7801], except that such term also—
(B) Requirements for special education teachers
When used with respect to any public elementary school or secondary school special education teacher teaching in a State, such term means that—
(i) the teacher has obtained full State certification as a special education teacher (including certification obtained through alternative routes to certification), or passed the State special education teacher licensing examination, and holds a license to teach in the State as a special education teacher, except that when used with respect to any teacher teaching in a public charter school, the term means that the teacher meets the requirements set forth in the State’s public charter school law;
(ii) the teacher has not had special education certification or licensure requirements waived on an emergency, temporary, or provisional basis; and
(C) Special education teachers teaching to alternate achievement standards
When used with respect to a special education teacher who teaches core academic subjects exclusively to children who are assessed against alternate achievement standards established under the regulations promulgated under section 1111(b)(1) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 [20 U.S.C. 6311 (b)(1)], such term means the teacher, whether new or not new to the profession, may either—
(i) meet the applicable requirements of section 9101 of such Act [20 U.S.C. 7801] for any elementary, middle, or secondary school teacher who is new or not new to the profession; or
(ii) meet the requirements of subparagraph (B) or (C) of section 9101(23) of such Act as applied to an elementary school teacher, or, in the case of instruction above the elementary level, has subject matter knowledge appropriate to the level of instruction being provided, as determined by the State, needed to effectively teach to those standards.
(D) Special education teachers teaching multiple subjects
When used with respect to a special education teacher who teaches 2 or more core academic subjects exclusively to children with disabilities, such term means that the teacher may either—
(i) meet the applicable requirements of section 9101 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 [20 U.S.C. 7801] for any elementary, middle, or secondary school teacher who is new or not new to the profession;
(ii) in the case of a teacher who is not new to the profession, demonstrate competence in all the core academic subjects in which the teacher teaches in the same manner as is required for an elementary, middle, or secondary school teacher who is not new to the profession under section 9101(23)(C)(ii) of such Act, which may include a single, high objective uniform State standard of evaluation covering multiple subjects; or
(iii) in the case of a new special education teacher who teaches multiple subjects and who is highly qualified in mathematics, language arts, or science, demonstrate competence in the other core academic subjects in which the teacher teaches in the same manner as is required for an elementary, middle, or secondary school teacher under section 9101(23)(C)(ii) of such Act, which may include a single, high objective uniform State standard of evaluation covering multiple subjects, not later than 2 years after the date of employment.
(E) Rule of construction
Notwithstanding any other individual right of action that a parent or student may maintain under this subchapter, nothing in this section or subchapter shall be construed to create a right of action on behalf of an individual student or class of students for the failure of a particular State educational agency or local educational agency employee to be highly qualified.
(11) Homeless children
(13) Indian tribe
(14) Individualized education program; IEP
(15) Individualized family service plan
The term “individualized family service plan” has the meaning given the term in section 1436 of this title.
(16) Infant or toddler with a disability
The term “infant or toddler with a disability” has the meaning given the term in section 1432 of this title.
(17) Institution of higher education
The term “institution of higher education”—
(A) has the meaning given the term in section 1001 of this title; and
(18) Limited English proficient
(19) Local educational agency
(A) In general
The term “local educational agency” means a public board of education or other public authority legally constituted within a State for either administrative control or direction of, or to perform a service function for, public elementary schools or secondary schools in a city, county, township, school district, or other political subdivision of a State, or for such combination of school districts or counties as are recognized in a State as an administrative agency for its public elementary schools or secondary schools.
(B) Educational service agencies and other public institutions or agencies
The term includes—
(C) BIA funded schools
The term includes an elementary school or secondary school funded by the Bureau of Indian Affairs, but only to the extent that such inclusion makes the school eligible for programs for which specific eligibility is not provided to the school in another provision of law and the school does not have a student population that is smaller than the student population of the local educational agency receiving assistance under this chapter with the smallest student population, except that the school shall not be subject to the jurisdiction of any State educational agency other than the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
(20) Native language
The term “native language”, when used with respect to an individual who is limited English proficient, means the language normally used by the individual or, in the case of a child, the language normally used by the parents of the child.
The term “nonprofit”, as applied to a school, agency, organization, or institution, means a school, agency, organization, or institution owned and operated by 1 or more nonprofit corporations or associations no part of the net earnings of which inures, or may lawfully inure, to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual.
(22) Outlying area
The term “outlying area” means the United States Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.
The term “parent” means—
(A) a natural, adoptive, or foster parent of a child (unless a foster parent is prohibited by State law from serving as a parent);
(C) an individual acting in the place of a natural or adoptive parent (including a grandparent, stepparent, or other relative) with whom the child lives, or an individual who is legally responsible for the child’s welfare; or
(24) Parent organization
(25) Parent training and information center
(26) Related services
(A) In general
The term “related services” means transportation, and such developmental, corrective, and other supportive services (including speech-language pathology and audiology services, interpreting services, psychological services, physical and occupational therapy, recreation, including therapeutic recreation, social work services, school nurse services designed to enable a child with a disability to receive a free appropriate public education as described in the individualized education program of the child, counseling services, including rehabilitation counseling, orientation and mobility services, and medical services, except that such medical services shall be for diagnostic and evaluation purposes only) as may be required to assist a child with a disability to benefit from special education, and includes the early identification and assessment of disabling conditions in children.
(27) Secondary school
The term “secondary school” means a nonprofit institutional day or residential school, including a public secondary charter school, that provides secondary education, as determined under State law, except that it does not include any education beyond grade 12.
(29) Special education
The term “special education” means specially designed instruction, at no cost to parents, to meet the unique needs of a child with a disability, including—
(A) instruction conducted in the classroom, in the home, in hospitals and institutions, and in other settings; and
(30) Specific learning disability
(A) In general
The term “specific learning disability” means a disorder in 1 or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using language, spoken or written, which disorder may manifest itself in the imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell, or do mathematical calculations.
(B) Disorders included
Such term includes such conditions as perceptual disabilities, brain injury, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia, and developmental aphasia.
The term “State” means each of the 50 States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and each of the outlying areas.
(32) State educational agency
The term “State educational agency” means the State board of education or other agency or officer primarily responsible for the State supervision of public elementary schools and secondary schools, or, if there is no such officer or agency, an officer or agency designated by the Governor or by State law.
(33) Supplementary aids and services
The term “supplementary aids and services” means aids, services, and other supports that are provided in regular education classes or other education-related settings to enable children with disabilities to be educated with nondisabled children to the maximum extent appropriate in accordance with section 1412 (a)(5) of this title.
(34) Transition services
The term “transition services” means a coordinated set of activities for a child with a disability that—
(A) is designed to be within a results-oriented process, that is focused on improving the academic and functional achievement of the child with a disability to facilitate the child’s movement from school to post-school activities, including post-secondary education, vocational education, integrated employment (including supported employment), continuing and adult education, adult services, independent living, or community participation;
(B) is based on the individual child’s needs, taking into account the child’s strengths, preferences, and interests; and
(35) Universal design
(36) Ward of the State
(A) In general
The term “ward of the State” means a child who, as determined by the State where the child resides, is a foster child, is a ward of the State, or is in the custody of a public child welfare agency.
Source(Pub. L. 91–230, title VI, § 602, as added Pub. L. 108–446, title I, § 101,Dec. 3, 2004, 118 Stat. 2652; amended Pub. L. 110–315, title IX, § 941(k)(2)(C),Aug. 14, 2008, 122 Stat. 3466; Pub. L. 111–256, § 2(b)(2),Oct. 5, 2010, 124 Stat. 2643.)
References in Text
The Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, referred to in pars. (8)(A)(ii), (iii) and (10)(F), is Pub. L. 89–10, Apr. 11, 1965, 79 Stat. 27, which is classified generally to chapter 70 (§ 6301 et seq.) of this title. Part A of title I of the Act is classified generally to part A (§ 6311 et seq.) of subchapter I of chapter 70 of this title. Parts A and B of title III of the Act are classified generally to parts A (§ 6811 et seq.) and B (§ 6891 et seq.), respectively, of subchapter III of chapter 70 of this title. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 6301 of this title and Tables.
The Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, referred to in par. (13), is Pub. L. 92–203, Dec. 18, 1971, 85 Stat. 688, which is classified generally to chapter 33 (§ 1601 et seq.) of Title 43, Public Lands. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 1601 of Title 43 and Tables.
The Tribally Controlled Colleges and Universities Assistance Act of 1978, referred to in par. (17)(B), is Pub. L. 95–471, Oct. 17, 1978, 92 Stat. 1325, which is classified principally to chapter 20 (§ 1801 et seq.) of Title 25, Indians. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 1801 of Title 25 and Tables.
A prior section 1401,Pub. L. 91–230, title VI, § 602, as added Pub. L. 105–17, title I, § 101,June 4, 1997, 111 Stat. 42; amended Pub. L. 105–244, title IX, § 901(d),Oct. 7, 1998, 112 Stat. 1828, related to definitions of terms used in this chapter, prior to the general amendment of subchapters I to IV of this chapter by Pub. L. 108–446.
Another prior section 1401,Pub. L. 91–230, title VI, § 602,Apr. 13, 1970, 84 Stat. 175; Pub. L. 94–142, § 4(a),Nov. 29, 1975, 89 Stat. 775; Pub. L. 98–199, §§ 2, 3 (b),Dec. 2, 1983, 97 Stat. 1357, 1358; Pub. L. 99–457, title IV, § 402,Oct. 8, 1986, 100 Stat. 1172; Pub. L. 100–630, title I, § 101(a),Nov. 7, 1988, 102 Stat. 3289; Pub. L. 101–476, title I, § 101, title IX, § 901(b)(10)–(20), Oct. 30, 1990, 104 Stat. 1103, 1142, 1143; Pub. L. 102–73, title VIII, § 802(d)(1),July 25, 1991, 105 Stat. 361; Pub. L. 102–119, §§ 3, 25 (a)(1), (b),Oct. 7, 1991, 105 Stat. 587, 605, 607; Pub. L. 103–382, title III, § 391(f)(1),Oct. 20, 1994, 108 Stat. 4023, related to definitions of terms used in this chapter, prior to the general amendment of subchapters I to IV of this chapter by Pub. L. 105–17.
2010—Par. (3)(A)(i). Pub. L. 111–256, § 2(b)(2)(A), substituted “with intellectual disabilities” for “with mental retardation”.
Par. (30)(C). Pub. L. 111–256, § 2(b)(2)(B), substituted “of intellectual disabilities” for “of mental retardation”.
2008—Par. (17)(B). Pub. L. 110–315substituted “college or university” for “community college” and “the Tribally Controlled Colleges and Universities Assistance Act of 1978” for “the Tribally Controlled College or University Assistance Act of 1978”.
Section effective July 1, 2005, except that subparagraphs (C) through (F) of par. (10) of this section are effective Dec. 3, 2004, for purposes of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 6301 et seq.), see section 302(a) ofPub. L. 108–446, set out as a note under section 1400 of this title.