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Individualized Education Program (IEP) « Education – Special

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Information, Legal Issues,
Articles, Resources
re: Individualized Education Program (IEP)


Official Government Information:

  • A Guide to the Individualized Education Program (
    The purpose of this guidance is to assist educators, parents, and state and local educational agencies in implementing the requirements of Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) regarding Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) for children with disabilities, including preschool-aged children.
  •  Each public school child who receives special education and related services must have an Individualized Education Program (IEP). Each IEP must be designed for one student and must be a truly individualized document. The IEP creates an opportunity for teachers, parents, school administrators, related services personnel, and students (when appropriate) to work together to improve educational results for children with disabilities. The IEP is the cornerstone of a quality education for each child with a disability.
  • Individualized Education Program (IEP) (U.S. Department of Education)
    A written statement for each child with a disability that is developed, reviewed, and revised in a meeting in accordance with sections of the IDEA.  Click here for PEKD page on IDEA.

Court Cases and Legal Issues Related to IEP:

Articles About IEP:

  • Confused by IEP, IDEA, and 504 (Family Education)
    IDEA and Section 504 have a similar purpose — to protect disabled persons from discrimination — but they differ in many respects. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is the new version of an earlier law, The Education of All Handicapped Children Act of 1975 (Public Law 94-142). This law requires state education agencies to provide appropriate services for disabled children from birth to 21 years of age.
  • Getting Ready for the IEP Meeting (
    The assessments have been done and the needs of your child are relatively well known. You have the background information you need to proceed. You have thought about the goals your child needs. You have also familiarized yourself with SMART goals to better understand the contents of the IEP.
  • IDEA 2004 Close Up: The Individualized Education Program (IEP) (Great Schools)
    The 2004 update of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA 2004) made several significant changes to the Individualized Education Program (IEP), both in terms of who should participate and what should be included in this important process. Since it is the IEP that lays out the school's commitment of special education and related services to be provided to eligible students, it is essential that parents of students with learning disabilities (LD) understand the changes.
  • IEP Boot Camp (Disability Scoop – 1/5/09)
    Since the enactment of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) in 1975, students with disabilities have the right to a free appropriate public education (FAPE). Accordingly, each student deemed eligible for special education has his or her own individualized education plan known as the IEP. But things can get sticky when parents and school staff sit down at so-called IEP meetings to decide what’s needed to educate a student.
  • School District Cannot Recoup Pendency Payments (Developments in Special Education Law – 9/27/10)
    Atlanta v. SF: In this case decided in September 2010, a Georgia court held “that parents of a child awarded private educational services because the IEP offered by the school was deemed to be inappropriate are not required to reimburse the school district for that expenditure, even if the administrative decision is later reversed.” This decision contains an overview of case law addressing this issue from other courts around the country. It is of particular interest here in New York as the New York City Board of Education has made repeated attempts to recoup pendency payments.
  • Starting a New IEP Advocacy Year: Back to School Tips (WrightsLaw – Aug. 2010)
    For parents of children with special needs, “back to school” means the start of a new IEP advocacy year. Here are some tips to keep in mind.
  • Stonewalling the IEP
    Despite the legal requirement that each child in special education have an Individualized Educational Program (IEP) with a Present Levels section (“present levels of academic achievement and functional performance”) that’s complete, up-to-date, and sufficient to develop meaningful and measurable goals (and in some cases, objectives), parents often complain that the school members of the IEP Team refuse to create such a Present Levels section. They complain that school members rush through the section or stonewall them by refusing to provide information that’s current, valid, and functional.
  • The Differences Between 504 Plans & IEPs (KPS4Parents – 12/27/10)
    KPS4Parents assists parents pursue a Free and Appropriate Public Education (“FAPE”) for children who need IEPs or 504 Plans. We help in both venues. Most of the families we serve are involved in the special education process, which calls for an Individualized Education Plan (“IEP”), but we still have a few who are not eligible for an IEP but are eligible for a 504 Plan. Many parents and educators struggle to understand the difference between these two types of legally binding and enforceable documents, so today’s post/podcast is meant to explain how they are similar and how they are different.
  • U.S. Supreme Court Declines Review of Two Special Ed Cases (Special Education Law Blog)
    In LM, et al v. Capistrano Unified Sch Dist 538 F.3d 1261, 50 IDELR 181 (9th Cir. 8/19/2008), the Ninth Circuit held that the school district violated state law by limiting the time that a psychologist could observe the student's placement to 20 minute increments, the parents were not thereby deprived of a meaningful opportunity to participate in the IEP review process. Therefore FAPE was provided by the district. The Supremes let the Ninth Circuit decision stand.
  • What is an IEP? (Memoires From the Waiting Room – 6/9/10)
    An Individualized Education Program (IEP) is a tool used by educators and parents of children designated as in need of special education to map out what special requirements a child needs and to ensure that everyone understands what will happen and why. When a child requires special education, because of a learning disability, significant developmental delays, or another condition that adversely effects a child’s education.
  • What is an Individualized Education Program? (Easy IEP Help)
    An Individualized Education Program is the legal document created by the IEP team that outlines the learning disabled child’s IEP goals and objectives.
  • Why Methodology Belongs in Your Child's IEP (Autism News – 2/9/07)
    This article outlines the regulations which permit parents to discuss methodology at an IEP meeting.

Publications About IEP:

  • Accommodations Manual (Council of Chief State School Officers)
    How to select, administer, and evaluate use of accommodations for instruction and assessment of students with disabilities.  Presents a five-step process of Individualized Educational Program (IEP) teams, 504 plan committees, general and special education teachers, administrators, and district level assessment staff to use in the selection, administration, and evaluation of the effectiveness of the use of instructional and assessment accommodations by students with disabilities.
  • Building a Bridge – A Resource Manual for High School Students
    Information to help parents play a meaningful role in guiding your child for the future. Under the Individuals with Disabilities Act, transition planning is required as part of your child's IEP (Individualized Education Program).
  • Considering Assistive Technology in the IEP Process (The Texas 4-Step Model)
    Provided to assist educational teams in considering assistive technology in the development, review, and/or revision of a student’s Individual Educational Plan.
  • Parent and Educator Guide for Assistive Technology (MI Alliance for Families)
    Information on Assistive Technology, the Individualized Education Program (IEP), the law, things to consider, processes, and more to ensure students with disabilities are provided a Free Appropriate PUblic Education (FAPE).

Resources: Websites and Blogs About IEP:

  • IEP Advocate 4 You (Carol Sadler blog)
    A professional parent advocate assisting parents of disabled children in school meetings and helping them understand their rights under IDEA, 504, SST and ADA.
  • The Wrightslaw Way – to Special Education Law and Advocacy
    “Eligibility for Special Ed: Grades, IQ Scores, Evaluations,” “Assistive Technology for the Struggling Notetaker,” and “Changing Schools and IEPs – Tips for Civilian & Military Families” are some of the topics you’ll see on this blog, which focuses on legal issues and advocacy for special education.