An Individualized Education Program (IEP) describes the educational program that has been designed to meet that child’s unique needs. Each child who receives special education and related services must have an 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 age 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.
The Massachusetts Department of Education (DOE) provides a process guide for the IEP.
The Individualized Education Program (IEP) is a legally binding document. It establishes a plan for an individual student who meets the following eligibility criteria :
1) Is identified as having one or more of the 13 disabilities (you can count Sensory disability as 1 or as 3 separate: Hearing, Vision, Deaf-Blind) defined in state and Federal laws.
(Which ever law provides the most coverage, is law that is applied.)
For the state definition, refer to 28.02 section (7):
- Developmental Delay
- Intellectual Impairment
- Sensory Impairment – including:
- Hearing Impairment or Deaf
- Vision Impairment or Blind
- Neurological Impairment
- Emotional Impairment
- Communication Impairment
- Physical Impairment
- Health Impairment
- Specific Learning Disability
Students between ages of 3 – 21 are eligible for an IEP.
For children who are ages 0 to age 3 are eligible for IFSP = Individual Family Service Plan.
For the Federal definition:
The following is a summary of what is contained in the IEP:
- The student’s disability (ies),
- A statement vision statement of the student’s long term goal (1 – 5 years in future).
- Describe how the student’s disability (ies) effects their progress in the classroom.
- Short term goals, based upon the child’s own learning strengths and weaknesses,
- How the child’s progress towards these goals will be measure and how will the goals be evaluated
- Accommodations and modifications
- For students with behavior or emotional issues that interfere with their learning, the IEP should contain a program designed to teach the student apsignature behavior and social skills. All behavior management techniques to be used.
- Summer services
- Transports needs
- Type of placement