458 U.S. 176 (1982)
__No. 80-1002.__
Supreme Court of the United States.
Argued March 23, 1982.
Decided June 28, 1982.

The Education of the Handicapped Act provides states with federal money to assist state and local agencies in educating handicapped children. Under this act, handicapped children include: “mentally retarded, hard of hearing, deaf, speech impaired, visually handicapped, seriously emotionally disturbed, orthopedically impaired, [and] other health impaired children, [and] children with specific learning disabilities.” In order to receive this money, states must provide “free appropriate education” individualized to the child’s specific needs. In this case, a deaf Kindergartener by the name of Amy Rowley was given extensive accommodations. Before she arrived at the school, the teachers took a course in sign language interpretation; a teletype machine was installed to aid conversations between the parents who were also deaf. She was given a FM hearing aid, had tutoring 1 hr./day, speech 3 hr./week. She was also an excellent lip reader. Her parents requested that she also gets assigned a sign language interpreter for follow her to all her classes. The school denied the request.

The parents decided to take measures farther to get a sign language interpreter for their child. The school had denied one, because Amy was excelling in all of her work and advancing grades with no problem—better than her peers. The Rowleys got an independent examiner to observe if Amy needed an interpreter—they found that she did not need one. The family appealed to the NY Commission of Education; they agreed with the schools decision as well. The family then took the case to the US District Court for South NY and the Supreme Court, and they granted Amy an interpreter on the grounds that: yes, she was excelling, but she had no idea what was going on in class outside of academics. This was considered inappropriate education. She was given a sign language interpreter. However, this ruling was reversed by the United States Supreme court because the school complied with their requirements and the Court of Appeals misinterpreted the Act.

Implications on Teaching:
Educational Acts affect everyone in the school system and interpretations of the Acts sometimes make it difficult to know when to accommodate a parent's request and when to deny. Parents have a lot of power to determine what their child does and does not need to succeed in their education process, therefore teachers and administrators should be prepared to tell the parents no when the request is not necessary. However, they should have a legally stable reason for the response because at any time a parent has the right to an appeal. Children with disabilities have the right to learn as their non-disabled peers, but if the child is learning in the environment that has been provided the parent can be denied additional services that the school has deemed unnecessary. When dealing with IEPs, teachers should first be educated on the disability of the child, then, if possible, speak with past teachers, the parents, and experts about methods that have and have not worked to help the child succeed. If this is done prior to the IEP meeting, the process of constructing or reevaluating the IEP should go a lot smoother.

Quiz Question:
T/F The school has to comply with any request the parent deems necessary for their child's educational.