Understanding My Individualized Education Plan (IEP)

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the term “Individualized Education Plan” (IEP) it’s probably because you have not had one in the past. For those who are familiar, you may still not fully understand the overall purpose and the planning that is involved.

By law, IEPs are tools developed to ensure that students with disabilities who attend public schools successfully reach their educational and personal goals while in high school and then transition either to college or directly into employment after graduation.

It’s important that you play a large role in the making and progress of your IEP.

Your IEP team can consist of the following players:

  • Teachers
  • Special Education Coordinators
  • A Parent or Guardian
  • A Personal Friend
  • Doctors & Therapists
  • Community Advocates

Your IEP should include information such as:

  • Your interests and ideas for employment or education after high school
  • Measurable goals around education, employment, training and independent living
  • The adult services available to you after graduation
  • The services, accommodations, or skills you may need to reach your goals

When it’s time for your team to discuss what accommodations you may need to succeed in school, you’re the best resource! You can tell them exactly what you need and together you come up with solutions. Here are examples of accommodations you may need:

  • Assistance with taking notes using a tape recorder or a computer
  • Help with taking tests such as being allowed more time to take the test or taking it in a quiet area
  • Preferred seating in the classroom
  • Using audio books or textbooks

For more examples of classroom accommodations:

click here.

Check out this Transitions RTC tip sheet for information on IEPs.



“What is different in high school versus college for students with disabilities?