After Outage, Ed Department Unveils New IDEA Site

By Michelle Diament, June 01, 2016

Three months after a key government special education website crashed, federal officials are introducing a revamped online presence.

The U.S. Department of Education launched a new website Thursday morning dedicated to housing information on the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

The updated resource, which is based on feedback from parents, educators, disability advocates and other stakeholders, offers a design that’s more consistent with the rest of the Education Department’s branding. The site features better search capabilities, enhanced accessibility and more content, the agency said.

“It is incumbent upon the government to provide accessible and accurate information to our citizens. That’s why one of my first actions as secretary was to direct the department to fix and revitalize its woefully outdated IDEA site so that parents, educators and service providers could readily access the resources they need,” said Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos.

The move comes after the first weeks of DeVos’ tenure were marred by concerns from special education advocates when idea.ed.gov went dark.

Education Department officials said that technical problems were to blame for outages that plagued the site for weeks before it was restored in late February. They indicated that the site had been neglected for years and included outdated information leading DeVos to order that a new platform be developed.

The old site at idea.ed.gov is expected to remain live for some time while the agency continues to collect feedback on the updated version.

“The department will continue to improve upon the new site by seeking and incorporating feedback from IDEA stakeholders in the coming months,” DeVos said. “We are committed to ensuring all students with disabilities and their families have the supports and services guaranteed under the IDEA.”

https://www.disabilityscoop.com/2017/06/01/after-ed-unveils-new-idea-site/23755/

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