Individualized Education Program

Prior to the mid-1970s, students with disabilities had limited access to public education. In 1975, the U.S. Congress passed the Education for All Handicapped Children Act (later reauthorized as the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act [IDEA]) to provide a free appropriate public education for all students with disabilities. Congress mandated that an individualized education program (IEP) be developed to ensure that students with disabilities receive an individualized and appropriate education.

The IDEA established a process for school-based teams to develop IEPs that includes (a) assessing the student’s educational needs, (b) developing meaningful and measurable annual goals, (c) developing and implementing the special education program and services, and (d) monitoring progress toward the goals. Throughout this process, the IEP teams must ensure they follow both procedural and ...

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