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Individualized Education Program ⁄ Individual Family Service Plan

The Individualized Education Program (IEP) describes the special education and related services designed to meet the unique needs of a child with disabilities. Parents, school personnel, and often the student receiving special education services develop the IEP jointly. This page provides resources to help develop an effective and appropriate IEP.
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Description: This document was developed to provide support to school administrators and directors of special education as they plan for return to school, special educators and parents who will be participating in Individualized Education Program (IEP) meetings, and for Local Educational Agencies (LEAs) and families that may be navigating a dispute. This document highlights information related to compliance, documentation and progress monitoring, and IEP Team considerations that are necessary in order to...
Description: OSEP hosted a three-part webinar series on Continuity of Learning and Return to School during COVID-19. This series showcased ready-to-use resources, tools, and practices from OSEP partners to support the educational, developmental, behavioral, and social/emotional needs of infants, toddlers, children, and youth with disabilities through remote and distance learning. Below you will find the archived webinars, featured resources, and additional tools and information to help educators, parents and...
Description: How to Support Students in Virtual IEP Meetings (District Administration) Nine ways to help students with disabilities to feel comfortable and meaningfully participate in IEP meetings held remotely this fall. Send documents home for student and parent to review. Seek information before the meeting Ensure all participants use their camera. And more... Bringing Student Voice Into IEP Conversation (Edutopia) One specific area of concern and focus is students with individualized education programs,...
Description: Considerations for COVID Recovery Services for Students with Disabilities (Virginia Department of Education, VDOE) Virtual IEP Meeting Tip Sheets (A Collaborative Effort Across OSEP-Funded Projects) Virtual Meetings: Strategies, Tips and Resources (The Center for Appropriate Dispute Resolution in Special Education, CADRE) Resources for Families and Students (Progress Center: Promoting Progress for Students with Disabilities) IEP Accommodations During Distance Learning (Understood.org) Virtual...
Description: The coronavirus pandemic is bringing new challenges to special education and distance learning. One of the biggest challenges is how to implement accommodations for students who have an Individualized Education Program (IEP). To make accommodations work in an online setting, you’ll need some innovative thinking and an understanding of the tools available to you and your students. Take a look at the charts below for some examples of how commonly used accommodations can transfer to a virtual...
Description: As we get this new school year underway in Virginia, the Virginia Department of Education's (VDOE's) resource page for families is continually being updated.  Please check back often for the most up-to-date information. This page includes: Family Resources Parent Guide Youth in Foster Care during School Closures due to COVID-19 Military Families Families of Students with Disabilities Guidance from the Department of Special Education & Student Services Virtual IEP Meeting Tip...
Description: PEATC (Parent Educational Advocacy Training Center) is pleased to provide our Back to School Planning Guide to assist families of students who receive special education services in preparing for the 2020-21 school year.  This guide includes worksheets with checklists and questions to help families as they prepare for how their children with disabilities will receive the services and supports outlined in their IEPs. We have also included a one-pager to help look at the question - What did my...
Description: This August, the Autism Society of America is dedicated to providing the autism community with the valuable resources necessary for the ever-changing landscape of back to school during COVID-19. Our goal is to provide resources to help autistic individuals and families as they navigate the “New Normal” of education during the COVID-19 crisis this summer. They have compiled a digital toolkit of resources, information, referrals, and support to help autistic individuals and their...
Description: Family participation is an essential feature of the development and implementation of high-quality educational programming for students with disabilities. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) mandates that families, and students when appropriate, participate in the development, monitoring, and the implementation of individualized education program (IEP). Although this participation is a legal requirement, collaborative partnerships between families and school personnel also...
Description: Circumstances may prohibit participants from attending special education meetings in person. In these situations, technology allows one or all of the individuals to participate through the Internet or telephone. Many types of meetings can occur virtually, including IEP meetings, mediations, resolution sessions, and due process hearings. While each of these types of meetings is unique, virtual meetings share common traits and considerations. Here we have collected resources, tips and...
Description: This resource was developed in response to requests from state and local educational agencies and parents about how to hold and participate in virtual individualized education program (IEP) meetings. While intended to meet a need during the current COVID-19 pandemic, we hope the content will have broader application. Contents: A Collaborative Effort Across OSEP-Funded Projects Virtual IEP Meetings: Technology Tips for All Participants Hosting Virtual IEP Meetings: Tips for Success Common...
Description: The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) cares about the well-being of both you and your child, especially as we face the COVID-19 pandemic. We are all in this together and our first priority is to keep our families and ourselves safe by seeking out meaningful supports. We should make every effort to stay positive and patient with one another and be compassionate in the understanding that everyone--administrators, teachers, students, and families--are going through this together. Please...
Description: School divisions must make every effort possible to meet required timelines by scheduling and holding your student’s IEP meeting online or by phone. Here are some helpful hints for IEP meetings and service delivery.
Description: The K-12 Inclusive Practices Guide is an informational resource to support school divisions and parents looking to improve outcomes for students with disabilities by meeting their needs to the maximum extent possible in general education setting.
Description: It is the responsibility of the IEP team to consider the need for assistive technology devices or services. The consideration process is a short discussion among team members to determine if the use of low tech or high tech supports will assist the student in making academic progress. The IEP team should document the consideration process.
Description: Parents and caregivers have certain goals in mind when their children go to school. Regardless of whether children have disabilities or not, all parents want them to learn, explore, and experience as much as they possibly can. Parents strive for their children to complete their public education, obtain a diploma, and be fully prepared to move on toward their chosen path, whether that is immediate employment, higher education, or something else. In order for your child to achieve these goals,...
Description: What is it? This is a guide on how to aid students with emotional or behavioral disturbances (EBD) to lead their Individualized Educational Program (IEP) meetings during high school. For the purposes of this manual, a student-led IEP is an IEP where a student with an EBD holds a leadership role during the IEP meeting, and actively participates in the writing, creation, and implementation of the IEP, including its transition component. This guide will outline steps and activities needed to...
Description: What is it? This is a guide about how to include Career and Technical Education (CTE) into the transition plans of high school students with Emotional or Behavioral Disorders (EBD). It can be used as a roadmap and reference for steps to take and activities to engage in when planning for and incorporating CTE courses into the transition component of Individualized Education Plans (IEP). This document brings together existing tools and creates a continuum for how to braid them together into a...
Description: Parents and caregivers have certain goals in mind when children go to school. Regardless of whether children have disabilities or not, all parents want them to learn, explore, and experience as much as they possibly can. Parents strive for their children to complete their public education, obtain a diploma, and be fully prepared to move on toward their chosen path, whether that is immediate employment, higher education, or something else. In order for your child to achieve these goals, there are...
Description: The purpose of this discussion guide is to help IEP teams make informed decisions about whether intervener services are appropriate for a particular student.    Why Intervener Services May Be Needed Students who are deaf-blind have absent, partial, or distorted vision and hearing. Deaf-blindness severely limits access to visual and auditory information that forms the basis for learning and communication and creates challenges for educational systems mandated to provide a free and...
Description: A new school year means a new grade, new teachers, new goals, and maybe even a new school! In order to help you and your child with special needs be as successful as you can be, we’ve put together a list of eight helpful back-to-school tips that we hope will make the transition into a new school year a little easier for you and your child. 1. Organize all that paperwork. In the world of special education, there are lots of meetings, paperwork, and documentation to keep track of. Try to...
Description: Evaluation is an essential beginning step in the special education process for a child with a disability. Before a child can receive special education and related services for the first time, a full and individual initial evaluation of the child must be conducted to see if the child has a disability and is eligible for special education. Informed parent consent must be obtained before this evaluation may be conducted.
Description: Where will a student with a disability receive his or her special education and related services? IDEA requires placement in the least restrictive environment (LRE) for each child, a setting that is based on the child’s IEP.
Description: Title |  Building the Legacy for Our Youngest Children with Disabilities: A Training Curriculum on Part C of IDEA 2004 By Whom? | This training curriculum was produced by NICHCY at the request of the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) at the U.S. Department of Education. The Center for Parent Information and Resources is pleased to house this curriculum and to make it continuously available. For Whom? |  The curriculum is intended to help all those involved with...
Description: The birth of a child is an exciting, life-changing event. A beautiful new baby comes to your house, family, and neighborhood. It is a time for celebration. But what happens when this new child has a disability? What if there are health problems? What if, as time goes by, it seems as if the child isn’t learning and progressing as quickly or easily as other children? What do you do? CPIR offers a suite of resource pages that can help you find answers and people who can...
Description: In drafting the provisions of IDEA, our nation’s special education law, Congress clearly contemplated that, at times, there would be disagreements between parents of children with disabilities and the school districts providing special education and related services to their children. While it is expected that parents and school personnel will work in partnership to ensure children with disabilities are provided appropriate services, there are times when the child’s parents and...
Description: Early intervention is full of terms that people constantly use in writing and in conversation, and it’s important to know what those terms mean. We are pleased to provide this handy reference to early intervention terminology, and hopes it helps our readers quickly connect with the meaning of pivotal words and phrases in the field.
Description: Module 1 welcomes everyone to Part C of IDEA—the early intervention program for infants and toddlers with disabilities.
Description: The education of children with disabilities is a top national priority. Our nation’s special education law, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), sets high standards for their achievement and guides how special help and services are made available in schools to address their individual needs.
Description: Think about a time when you really wanted someone – a teacher – to know stuff about you but you really didn’t want to have to take the time and the words to explain it. Think about your IEP.  How long does it take for anyone to look at it and find out the important things about you? The One-Pager was created as a way to cut through all of that paper and get at the important stuff quickly and all on one page. What it is The One-Pager is a simple tool to help provide...
Description: This section includes a compilation links to resources on: Benefits Civil Rights Community Life Education Employment Emergency Preparedness Housing Technology Transportation  
Description: This section provides information on assessment and eligibility determination guidelines to special education professionals who work with English Learners. These guidelines can be used where traditional evaluation procedures may not be appropriate and are based on specific aspects of diversity such as race, culture, the acculturation process, high mobility among families and poverty rates. This includes “Effective Communication with English Learner Parents through an...
Description: Being a parent is the most wonderful—and hardest—job in the world. If you have a child with special needs, your job is no less wonderful, but it can be more complicated. Your child’s education is most likely an area of great interest to you. As a child with a disability, he or she may be eligible for special education services in school. If so, then it will be important for you to learn: more about special education; how special education services can support your child; and...
Description: AT Consideration Guide App: IDEA (1997) added the requirement that each IEP team consider the need for assistive technology as part of the Consideration of Special Factors. IEP teams must also document their consideration of assistive technology in the IEP plan. The consideration guide is to assist school divisions in developing a process for consideration of AT in the IEP process. (Free)
Description: Children’s Challenging Behaviors is a six-hour workshop for parents of children and youth with mental health needs. In this workshop, a trained and experienced parent provides information to help parents understand typical behaviors versus challenging behaviors that require intervention. Parents learn when and how to seek help, develop parenting strategies, learn the ins and outs of special education and other educational supports, and discover community resources available to families and...
Description: Individualized Education Program (IEP): Summary, Process and Practical Tips from Goodwin Procter LLP Individualized Education Programs help ensure a student with autism is receiving the best possible services in school. IEPs are based on each student’s unique strengths and challenges. They help define a student’s personalized educational goals and lay out the steps that will be taken to achieve those goals. A team of lawyers at Goodwin Procter LLP has generously put together a...
Description: Fourteen invaluable tools — checklists, charts, worksheets, letters, parent-teacher conversation starters, and more — to help you and your child team up with teachers for a successful school year. Dear Teacher, Please Meet My Child: A Sample Letter for Parents What I Wish My Teachers Knew About Me: A Free Template for Kids What Every Teacher Should Know About ADHD: A Free Handout Help Your Child’s Peers ‘Get’ ADHD: A Free Guide for Parents 7 Parent-Teacher...
Description: My Parent Journey blog post by Jon Morin Apr 27, 2017 Because of our older son’s high test scores and big vocabulary, his teachers have often suggested that he be placed in gifted and talented (GT) classes. But since he also has issues with executive functioning, social skills and learning, it’s not that simple. Back when he was 8, my son got his first IEP. The school recommended that he be placed in a self-contained class to help with his meltdowns and difficult behavior. Although...
Description: Student-directed IEPs are quickly gaining momentum in schools across the country—the proven benefits include higher academic achievement, enhanced student motivation, and increased communication and self-advocacy skills for students with disabilities. Now for the first time, there's a book that gives elementary and high school educators in-depth how-to guidance on making student-directed IEPs work for students with a range of special needs. Packed with practical advice, helpful examples,...
Description: The mission of Virginia's public education system is to educate students in the fundamental knowledge and academic subjects that they need to become capable, responsible, and self-reliant citizens. Therefore, the mission of the Virginia Board of Education and the superintendent of public instruction, in cooperation with local school boards, is to increase student learning and academic achievement.
Description: The POWER (Parent Organizer With Educational Resources) web app provides parents and families with online resources to answer questions about child development, disabilities, community services, Special Education, diploma options in Virginia and transition to life after high school.  The questions and potential resources are separated into age levels: Early Childhood, Elementary School, Middle School and High School. This project is a collaborative effort between the Parent Resource...
Description: The Applied Studies Diploma is a diploma option available to students identified as having a disability who complete the requirements of their individualized education programs (IEPs) and meet certain requirements prescribed by the Board of Education pursuant to regulations, but do not meet the requirements for any named diploma. This includes a Webinar Series on the Applied Studies Diploma: Applied Studies Diploma Overview Applied Studies Diploma Part 2: The Curriculum Map Applied Studies...
Description: The Applied Studies Curriculum Map (PDF) is a set of skills and competencies that IEP teams can use to identify the need for additional instruction that the student will need to achieve their postsecondary goals. These skills are not standards or required to earn the Applied Studies Diploma, but provide guidance to teams in aligning the student’s transition goals with the goals outlined in the annual IEP. The Applied Studies Curriculum Map provides a guide in which teachers, students,...
Description: The Military Outreach program through the Parent Educational Advocacy Training Center (PEATC) was created to provide awareness and assistance to military families, and professionals that support them, in Virginia through various outreach activities; networking - attending meetings that support military families, exhibiting and presenting workshops –as well as interacting and assisting parents and professionals. The Military Outreach Initiative continues to demonstrate its mission –...
Description: The Working in Support of Education (W!SE) financial literacy credential is closely aligned to the required Economics and Personal Finance (EPF) course (6120) for all students.  Therefore, students who have successfully completed the EPF course in a previous semester or previous year but have not passed an industry certification examination to satisfy the Standard Diploma graduation requirement may take the W!SE test. Upon passing the W!SE test, these students will have met two graduation...
Description: Age of majority is the age when children legally become adults. At this time, they gain the rights of adults, which include the right to vote, marry, apply for a credit card, make medical and financial decisions for themselves, sign contracts, live independently, and much more. In most states the age of majority is age 18. We invite you to read this tip sheet for parents to learn more about: Who decides the age of majority The age of majority in your state What the transfer of parental...
Description: From a student’s first day of school until the completion of his or her education, a significant number of educational decisions will have been made for or by that student. Until a student reaches the age of 18 (also called the “age of majority” in Virginia), most of those decisions are made by parents, family members, and/or guardians in consultation with teachers or education officials. The right of a person meeting the definition of parent under the Virginia Regulations, to...
Description: If you have just recently found out about your child’s hearing loss or know of a child who has been recently diagnosed with a hearing loss you are on the right track to finding more information for Virginia residents. Knowledge is power! Being informed in the area of deafness/hearing impairment and teaching your child or children with hearing losses to be independent is important.
Description: ATware Solutions, LLC. has been formed by a multidisciplinary team of people from several Virginia universities to produce a variety of apps that can be used by people with disabilities, or professionals and families assisting people with disabilities. All of these apps are free of charge. Note: Our AIM-VA Navigator and Eligibility Apps are being retired because they are no longer needed for the AT Considerations Guide App. AEM Navigator is located on the National Center on Accessible...
Description: The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) 2004 defines secondary transition as a coordinated set of activities designed to be within a results-oriented process, focused on improving the academic achievement and functional performance to facilitate movement from school to post-school activities. The purpose of transition planning for youth at ages 14 and 16 is similar; good planning should address academic achievement and functional performance that will facilitate movement from...