IEP – Individualized Education Program

Once you reach age 16, a transition Individualized Education Program (IEP) meeting must be held by the IEP team to discuss future services.

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA 04) requires that in the first IEP that will be in effect when the student turns 16, his/her annual IEP must include a discussion about transition service needs.

The IEP must include a statement about your future needs along with any services that will help you develop the skills necessary to meet these goals. It should list any non-educational agencies that might provide you with additional support and consider what strategies would assist you in taking steps toward vocational, employment, independent and post high school educational plans. In other words, it is creating goals for your future.

Note: The transition IEP must be signed at least one year before you reach the age of 18. It declares that you been informed of your rights and are aware that these rights transfer to you after the age of 18.

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In the IEP document, focus on: vocational education, adult education programs, employment goals and independent living skills. Include factors such as: academic preparation, community experience, development of vocational and independent living objectives and, if applicable, a functional vocational evaluation.

A summary of performance is also required. Provided by the schools, this document assists in the process from school to post school activities and includes the following: a summary of your academic achievements and functional performance, recommendations on how to assist you in meeting post-secondary goals and a list of the accommodations and modifications that were used in high school.

The law also requires that a statement of your transition goals and services be included in the transition plan. Schools must report to your parents on the progress towards meeting these transition goals.

Transition Planning Programs

School districts and county offices offer specific programs that you can participate in once you reach the age of 16. Check with your local school district or county Department of Education to see what types of programs are available and ensure that if a meeting is held that any supporting organizations and specialists are brought to the table. Some example programs include:

    • Workability: Prepares high school students with disabilities for successful employment with an emphasis on work-based learning opportunities.
      Best for students with mild to moderate disabilities
    • Transition Partnership Project: Provides service coordination, job development and job coaching for students with significant disabilities.
    • Adult Transition Program: Emphasizes community-based instruction and job training experiences with goals of independent living and self-sufficiency.
      For students over 17 with developmental disabilities
    • Bridges: Provides benefits planning and counseling to people with disabilities and their families. Sponsored by the Social Security Administration and Department of Rehabilitation; for people with moderate to severe disabilities who are receiving SSI or who are eligible for SSI.

Local Resources

Project 10: Transition Education Network
Assists Florida school districts and relevant stakeholders in building capacity to provide secondary transition services to students with disabilities in order to improve their academic success and post-school outcomes.

Broward County Public Schools Exceptional Student Learning Support
Serves over 32,000 students with disabilities and offers a free and appropriate public education in compliance with the federally mandated IDEA. A continuum of services and programs are available to meet the individual needs of students eligible for special education and related services, ages 3 through 22. This continuum of services may be provided in a variety of settings, which include general education classrooms, resource rooms, specialized day schools, and hospital homebound. Eligible students are provided supports and/or services as per their Individual Education Plan (IEP) that are based on each child’s unique needs, as related to their present levels of academic achievement and functional performance.

Quick Links

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is a law that makes available a free appropriate public education to eligible children with disabilities throughout the nation and ensures special education and related services to those children.

Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE)
If you have a child with a disability, your child is entitled to FAPE – a free appropriate public education, under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). What does this mean? In a nutshell, FAPE is an individualized educational program that is designed to meet the child’s unique needs and from which the child receives educational benefit, and prepares them for further education, employment, and independent living.

Individualized Education Program (IEP)
The IEP, Individualized Education Program, is a written document that’s developed for each public school child who is eligible for special education. The IEP is created through a team effort and reviewed at least once a year. Before an IEP can be written, your child must be eligible for special education. By federal law, a multidisciplinary team must determine that (1) she’s a child with a disability and (2) she requires special education and related services to benefit from the general education program.

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