Fast Facts On
Individualized Education Programs

By Christopher Button

This article is reprinted from the A.T. Quarterly, Volume 2, Number 5 (1991).

As the end of the school year approaches, many school systems will begin their annual review of Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) for students receiving special education and related services. IEP meetings must be conducted at least once a year to review and revise each child's IEP. Although these meetings may be held at any time during the year (including the summer), frequently schools review and revise IEPs towards the end of a school year so that they will be in effect at the beginning of the following school year.

On August 10, 1990 the federal Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) issued a policy letter on the right of a student with a disability to assistive technology services and devices under P.L. 94-142, the federal mandate for a free, appropriate public education. The following is intended to help parents and advocates work with school personnel to develop or revise the IEP for children based on this important policy letter.

The IEP is a written record of decisions parents make jointly with school personnel regarding the special education program for their child. It is a commitment on the part of the school to provide specified services. Parents have a right to a copy of this document. Parents may request a review of the IEP at any time if they do not feel that their child's IEP accurately reflects the program he or she needs. If the request for inclusion of specific IEP goals is met with resistance or if the parents are dissatisfied with the program, they may request a due process hearing. Attorney fees must be paid by the schools if the hearing officer decides in favor of the parents' request and an attorney was used.

United Cerebral Palsy Associations, Inc., is interested in receiving copies of any child's IEP which incorporates assistive technology devices or services. Please send these to: Christopher Button, UCPA, Inc., 1522 K Street, N.W., Suite 1112, Washington, DC 20005; 800/USA-5UCP or 202/ 842-1266.

[Editor's Note: This article, written for parents, is a condensed version of an article that appeared in the UCPA Spring 1991 issue of Family Support Bulletin.]

The A.T. Quarterly was a newsletter developed by the RESNA TA Project under a contract with the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR), U.S. Department of Education (ED). The content, however, does not necessarily reflect the position or policy of NIDRR/ED and no official endorsement of the material should be inferred.

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