Student Involvement

Student Involvement in the IEP

The Individualized Education Program (IEP) is a legal document developed by the student, teachers, administrators, parents and other team members. The IEP helps students with disabilities to reach their goals. According to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act 2004, the IEP must focus on the student’s preferences, interests, needs and strengths. All students, regardless of age or disability, can be involved in the development of their own IEP.

All students need to be a part of their IEP meetings after being provided with direct instruction, accommodations, and opportunities to practice or role play their participation. Some important tips to remember when including young students in their IEP meetings include:

  1. Consider the age when determining the length of time the student will participate;
  2. Ask all team members to use language that the student will understand;
  3. Acknowledge the student for their participation
  4. Visit the Films section and view "Student Participation in the IEP" and "It's All About You; Get To Know Your IEP".

Students who participate in their own IEP meetings often know more about their disability, rights, goals and accommodations. Through this participation, they have the opportunity to practice many skills that will help facilitate their independence, their ability to overcome obstacles, and their ability to lead more self-determined lives.

Student-led Conferences

Student-led conferences take the concept of student-led IEPs and apply it to the general education setting. Students lead the traditional parent-teacher conference which then becomes a time to celebrate the student and the work they’ve accomplished. Academic or behavioral issues are addressed with all the key players at the table. Family participation has increased greatly using this student-centered approach.

Student Involvement

When students learn and practice self-determination skills, they become more involved in advocating for their needs, speaking up for others, and taking on leadership roles. Several clips (below) feature I'm Determined Youth Leaders discussing their involvement in their schools and communities. 


Click to Play » What post-secondary opportunities exist for students with disabilities?
During a Q & A session with Youth Leaders, directors of Virginia agencies that support youth with disabilities respond to questions about education, inclusion and leadership.
Click to Play » What post-secondary opportunities exist for students with disabilities? OC
Click to Play » What is happening with inclusive education?
During a Q & A session with Youth Leaders, directors of Virginia agencies that support youth with disabilities respond to questions about education, inclusion and leadership.
Click to Play » What is happening with inclusive education? OC
Click to Play » What is "Followership"?
To be a good leader, you first have to know how to follow. Youth Leaders discuss what followership means to them.
Click to Play » What is "Followership"? OC
Click to Play » What are you learning from Youth Leaders?
During a Q & A session with Youth Leaders, directors of Virginia agencies that support youth with disabilities respond to questions about education, inclusion and leadership.
Click to Play » What are you learning from Youth Leaders? OC
Click to Play » The importance of accessibility
What happens when barriers prevent people with disabilities from fully participating? Youth Leader Joshua Pierce and his father share their frustrations.
Click to Play » The importance of accessibility OC
Click to Play » Student IEP Participation
Click to Play » Student IEP Participation OC
Click to Play » "Lenny the Leader"
What does a leader look like? I'm Determined Youth Leaders offer one interpretation.
Click to Play » Lenny the Leader OC
Click to Play » Importance of IEP Meetings
Click to Play » Importance of IEP Meetings OC
Click to Play » How do you build leadership?
What does it take to be a good leader? Youth Leaders respond with their thoughts on how to encourage students to become leaders.
Click to Play » How do you build leadership? OC
Click to Play » All students can participate in self-determination
Click to Play » All students can participate in self-determination OC

Scroll to view more video titles

Elementary

Download: IEP Participation Brochure (Spanish version) IEP Participation Brochure (Spanish version)
Download: IEP Participation Brochure IEP Participation Brochure
Download: Self Determination Student Checklist Self Determination Student Checklist
Download: Self Determination Elementary Parent Checklist Self Determination Elementary Parent Checklist
Download: Self Determination Elementary Educator Checklist Self Determination Elementary Educator Checklist

Secondary

Download: Understanding my IEP (differentiated) Understanding my IEP (differentiated)
Download: IEP Participation Brochure (Spanish version) IEP Participation Brochure (Spanish version)
Download: IEP Participation Brochure IEP Participation Brochure
Download: High School Self Determination Plan High School Self Determination Plan
Download: Self Determination Student Checklist Self Determination Student Checklist

Supplemental

Download: IEP PowerPoint Development FAQs IEP PowerPoint Development FAQs
Download: Student Led IEP's Student Led IEP's
Download: Student Led Conferences Student Led Conferences
Download: Self Determination IEP Model Self Determination IEP Model
Download: Self Determination Introductory Lesson Plan Self Determination Introductory Lesson Plan