All About the IEP

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In Spanish | En españolPhoto of a typical IEP team, with lots of members.

When a child receives special education services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), he or she must have an Individualized Education Program (IEP). This is a written document listing, among other things, the special educational services that the child will receive. The IEP is developed by a team that includes the child’s parents and school staff.

The IEP is an extremely important document in the educational lives of students with disabilities receiving special education under IDEA. The resources we’ve listed below will help you learn more about IEPs—what the law requires, what information a typical IEP contains, how IEPs are developed, and so on.

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The Short-and-Sweet IEP Overview
Find out fast what an IEP is, who writes it, and what it contains.

The IEP Team
A child’s IEP is developed by a team of individuals that includes key school staff and the child’s parents. Find out who’s required by law to serve on the team and what they might contribute to developing the IEP.

Contents of the IEP
A child’s IEP, by law, must contain specific information, including the special education and related services that he or she will receive. But there’s so much more in an IEP! Find out in detail.

When the IEP Team Meets
What goes on at an IEP team meeting? What does IDEA require? What types of considerations, discussions, and decisions must be made by the IEP team? Find out here.

NOTICE: The National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities (NICHCY) is no longer in operation. Our funding from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) ended on September 30, 2013. Our website and all its free resources will remain available until September 30, 2014.