Individualized Education Programs (IEPs)
NICHCY is pleased to connect you with resources on Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) for children with disabilities. When a child receives special education services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), he or she must have an Individualized Education Program (IEP). This is a written document listing, among other things, the special educational services that the child will receive. The IEP is developed by a team that includes the child's parents and school staff. The IEP is an extremely important document in the educational lives of students with disabilities receiving special education under IDEA. The resources we've listed below will help you learn more about IEPs---what the law requires, what information a typical IEP contains, how IEPs are developed, and so on.
The list isn't exhaustive of the resources available on IEPs. It's a beginning list, to get you started in your search for information. It's extremely important to note as well that IDEA was reauthorized in 2004, and small changes were made to what the law requires in terms of the IEP process. Final regulations for the statute were published in August 2006. NICHCY, like other disability-related organizations, is working very hard to update all its materials relating to the law and its implementing regulations. But this will take some time, so in the interim we alert you to the fact that existing materials may be caught in the mid-ground between two versions of IDEA, the one passed in 1997 and the one just passed in 2004. For the full story and to connect with all manner of info on the new law, please visit NICHCY's IDEA pages, beginning at: www.nichcy.org/idea.htm
IDEA and the IEP
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is the federal law that underpins most special education services in the country. A thorough description of the IDEA's wide-ranging requirements can be found by visiting NICHCY's Connections...to U.S. Education Laws. The following is a list of resources regarding IEPs and IDEA.
- IDEA has changed!
In 2004, the IDEA was reauthorized by Congress, and several changes were made to what's required by law and regulation with respect to the IEP. These changes aren't sweeping, but they do mean that the information and links presented below must be viewed through the screen of how the law has changed. The full story with respect to the IEP can be found in NICHCY's reauthorization pages, most notably at this link:
- Questions, questions? Answers, answers.
A good place to start unravelling the mysteries of the IEP is Wrightslaw.com. The link above will drop you right into the soup, where you'll find articles, law and regulations, tactics and strategies, tips, books, and free publications about IEPs.
- Here's a roadmap to IDEA 2004 and the IEP.
Wrightslaw offers us all a "Roadmap to IDEA 2004: What You Need to Know About IEPs & IEP Meetings" at the link above.
- Who's on the team that develops the IEP?
Also from Wrightslaw, here's "IDEA 2004: IEP Team Members & IEP Team Attendance."
- Want a brief description of the IEP process under IDEA?
Try NICHCY's Questions Often Asked by Parents about Special Education Services. (Keep in mind the small changes made by IDEA 2004 in the IEP...) For the same information in Spanish, read Preguntas Comunes de los Padres sobre los Servicios de Educacion Especial, at: www.nichcy.org/pubs/spanish/lg1stxt.htm. You can also read The Arc's brief question and answer on the subject, at: http://thearc.org/faqs/qa-idea.html
- How 'bout a more detailed description?
Read Questions and Answers about IDEA, which will tell you what the IEP must contain, who must be on the IEP team, and much more. (This document is still largely accurate about IDEA, but keep in mind the small changes IDEA 2004 has made to the IEP process, as noted in the first bullet in this section.) For the same information in Spanish, read Preguntas y Respuestas sobre IDEA, at: www.nichcy.org/pubs/spanish/nd21stxt.htm
- Official IEP guidance from the Feds.
The Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP), at the U.S. Department of Education, issued A Guide to the Individualized Education Program in 2000 as a resource for parents and teachers. (Again, keep in mind those small changes IDEA 2004 has made to the IEP process.)
- Beyond legalities: Writing a document that works.
IEP4U.COM has over 4000 free goals and objectives (IEP-ITP), each with changeable benchmarks. The statements are spread out over seven subjects (domains) and four functional levels. This information is free of charge and is designed to help you with the daunting task of writing proper IEP's Teachers, parents and students...just input key words, phrases, or test names in the search engine to find just the correct objectives for your students needs. Copy and paste any information you want, then modify the objectives (examples) to exactly describe the needs of your students. The kid section will give your students personal input to write their own objectives (with your help) and to play some interesting games as well.
Reprinted with the permission of the National Dissemination Center.
- Coats and Car Seats: A Lethal Combination?
- Kindergarten Sight Words List
- Child Development Theories
- Signs Your Child Might Have Asperger's Syndrome
- 10 Fun Activities for Children with Autism
- Why is Play Important? Social and Emotional Development, Physical Development, Creative Development
- First Grade Sight Words List
- Social Cognitive Theory
- The Homework Debate
- GED Math Practice Test 1