Self-Determination and Student Led IEP Meetings

The Individualized Education Program (IEP) is a legal document developed by the student, teachers, administrators, parents and other team members. The IEP helps students with disabilities in reaching their goals. According to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act 2004, the IEP must focus on the student’s preferences, interests, needs and strengths. All students, regardless of age or disability, can be involved in the development of their own IEP.

Here in District Six, we believe that students who participate in their own IEP meetings often know more about their disability, rights, goals, and accommodations/modifications than those students that choose not to participate. We encourage all students to be a part of their IEP meetings. As a district, we provide direct instruction to the students on their disability, learning style, accommodations, modification, and goals. Each student is given opportunities to practice or role-play their participation in their IEP meeting. Through this participation, they have the opportunity to practice many skills that will help facilitate their independence, their ability to overcome obstacles, and their ability to lead more self-determined lives.

Since incorporating Self-Determination and Student Led IEP meetings, we have seen:
• Students of all ages taking ownership of their academic and personal goal delevopment
• An increase in student understanding of the IEP process
• An increase in parent and teacher understanding of the IEP process
• Increased parent attendance at IEP meetings
• Increased academic and functional achievement