Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) are the cornerstone of special education.
They define how a student with disabilities will receive what they are entitled to under federal law: access to a free and appropriate public education.
IEPs must be designed to help students make reasonable progress considering their particular situations. In that way, they are “individualized.” They’re about what your child needs, not what the school district says it can provide.
This video from Alison Morris, a special education attorney at Cuddy Law Firm, explains the many ingredients that go into an IEP, including:
- Your student’s disability classification, which can be any of 13 types of impairments, with a focus on the disability that most effects your child’s educational functioning
- The date range that the IEP covers
- What information was factored into the IEP
- Details on the current status of the child’s development academically, physically, socially, emotionally and what they need to manage their day
- Special considerations such as behavior plans, limited English proficiency, visual impairments, and need for communications or assistive technology devices
- Guidelines for the class sizes that will best serve your child
- Outlines for how your student will participate in activities with other children
- Your transportation needs
- A listing of learning accommodations and supports your child needs
- Accommodations for your child when they take tests
- Plans for participation in statewide assessments
- An accounting of any other related services, such as speech therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, eating therapy and more
- Identifying services students need over the summer to prevent regressing during the school break
- Goals for the child’s academic and functional development that are measurable and tailored to your child
- An outline of when you’ll receive progress reports under the IEP
- Identifying the proper placement in an academic setting
- Plans for making the transition from school to life after their school years are over
In the video, Alison discusses each of these points in detail.
When school districts fail to create and comply with IEPs, the special education lawyers at the Cuddy Law Firm can help.