Statement by the President: Celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (11/29/00)
                              THE WHITE HOUSE

                       Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release
November 29, 2000

                        STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT

     Today I join millions of Americans in celebrating the 25th anniversary
of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) -- a landmark
civil rights law that opens the doors to education and success for more
than six million American children each year.  As we recognize this
milestone, we know that education is the key to our children?s future, and
it is the IDEA that ensures all children with disabilities have access to a
free appropriate public education.   We have seen tremendous progress over
the past 25 years -- students with disabilities are graduating from high
school, completing college, and entering the competitive workforce in
record numbers -- and we must continue this progress over the next 25 years
and beyond.

     The benefits of the IDEA stretch far beyond just those with
disabilities. The new technologies and teaching methods developed to assist
students with disabilities are improving education for all students.
Three-quarters of children with disabilities are learning in classrooms
alongside their non-disabled peers, contributing to the diversity that is
one of America?s greatest strengths. This level of success would not be
possible without the dedicated involvement of parents and educators who are
committed to a strong educational system for all children, and I salute
their dedication and accomplishments.

     In this time of record prosperity, with more opportunities for success
than ever before, we must ensure that all of our children have the
education that will allow them to go to college, get good jobs, and play
active roles in their communities.  America?s ongoing commitment to this
principle, embodied in the IDEA, is both an economic and moral imperative
for our future.


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