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To any professional concerned with exceptional children, it would be the greatest understatement to say that the courts and legislatures have had a tremendous impact on the field of speeial education. Especially in the last decade, a flood of litigation filed to develop and define the right to education of previously unserved handicapped children has left no special education teacher, school adminis trator, nurse, educational psychologist, or pediatrician unaffected-either be cause these professionals are daily called upon to help children, or because they may come forward as witnesses on behalf of children who are the subjects of special education meetings, individualized education programs, placement hear ings, or judicial proceedings. Thus, for these people, questions regarding a student's legal rights are immediate and pervasive. This book developed out of the need to provide nonlegal professionals with a lawyer's view of the huge body of court cases and federal laws and regulations that affect their practice as well as their students and clients. An introductory chapter provides the historical basis of the current interface between law and special education. The Education for All Handicapped Children Act of 1975 and Sec tion 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and their regulations promulgated in 1977, are the major national laws in the field ~nd are therefore described in Chapters 2 and 3.