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Be All That You Can BE With your IEP!. What is an IEP? How can it help me?. Developed by: Rachel Faish & Jenna McGlaughlin with help from: Erika Kauffman, John Krueger, & Leah Maxson. About this unit:. This is a “ student friendly ” presentation

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Be all that you can be with your iep l.jpg
Be All That You Can BE With your IEP!

What is an IEP? How can it help me?

Developed by:

Rachel Faish & Jenna McGlaughlin

with help from:

Erika Kauffman, John Krueger, &

Leah Maxson

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About this unit:

  • This is a “student friendly” presentation

    • To help middle-school deaf and hard-of-hearing students prepare to participate in IEP and transition planning meetings

    • To give teachers ideas for teaching these skills

      So..., here we go!

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So What is an IEP?

  • An IEP is a plan to ensure that you are receiving a good education that fits YOUR needs

  • It helps your teachers and parents make sure that you are on the right track

  • It is a plan that YOU are allowed to attend, because it is all about YOU and YOUR needs!

So, start thinking…what are your strengths, your weaknesses…, your likes, your dislikes—who are you?

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Do you think about…?

  • What class(es) do you like?

  • What class(es) do you dislike?

  • What would you change if you could about your school life?

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How can you help plan your life?

  • Your IEP is really for you even if you haven’t attended IEP meetings.

  • Start by listing classes and things about school that you like and dislike—and write them down in a notebook.

  • Think of goals that you would like to work on for the school year, that will help you in the future.

  • Talk to your parents, your teachers, and your friends about what they think—what are your strengths, and what are you good at

  • Look at your old IEPs and think about how YOU can help plan…, for your life!

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So what is an IEP meeting? Why do you need to start thinking about it?

  • An IEP meeting includes people who are concerned about your education.

  • The IEP team discusses what has been successful for you in school, and what has not.

  • Then the team decides on a plan to help you, so that you can be more successful.

  • This unit will help you learn about this plan to help your team make plans that really fit you!




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What to “watch out” for with IEP meetings: about it?

  • Disagreements: You might disagree with another person on the team. It’s best to be “mature” and find ways to solve the problem—don’t just be mad!

  • Explaining your opinion and listening to others: It is your plan so your opinion is important. But other people have good ideas, too. For example, screaming at your parents about something is not appropriate. Listen, and explain nicely why you disagree.

Be Part of the IEP

And it’s as Easy as 1-2-3

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Thrilled Very Interested about it?



Delighted, Glad Very Pleased


Unclear, Uncertain, Puzzled


What I hoped for didn’t happen


Upset, Unhappy Furious, Annoyed


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Learn how to make your IEP meeting more successful! about it?

  • Have a practice IEP meeting and videotape it.

    • Evaluate your skills:

      • How did you feel during the meeting? Use the Meeting Meter to help you describe how you felt, and why.

      • What did you do well? What made you feel happy and excited?

      • What did you do well? Where should you improve?

  • Practice:

    • Explaining more about your likes and dislikes

    • Listening more to others on the team

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Use these 11 steps for a about it?“Self-Determined IEP”, that YOU help create

1. Begin the meeting by stating its purpose.

2. Introduce everyone.

3. Review past goals and performance.

4. Ask for others’ feedback.

5. State your school and transition goals.

6. Ask questions if you do not understand.

7. Deal with differences in opinion.

8. State what supports you will need.

9. Summarize your goals.

10. Close meeting by thanking everyone.

11. Work on IEP goals all year.[From Choicemaker Series, Sopris Pub.]

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Meeting Meter about it?

  • Use this “Meeting Meter” to help you think about your IEP meeting. Practice first with a “mock” IEP meeting.

    • How do you react if someone disagrees?

  • Think about and describe the following:

    • How did you feel about the persons invited to the meeting—did they help?

    • Did everyone listen to your opinions? Did you listen to their ideas?

    • Did they have good ideas, even if they disagreed with you?

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Meter Questions (cont.) about it?

  • How did you feel when the IEP team discussed how you have done in school—your strengths and your weaknesses?

    • Were you embarrassed or shy?

    • Were you angry or upset?

  • How do you feel about the new goals the team discussed?

    • Are you satisfied?

    • Do you think they should be changed?

  • How do you feel about your behavior during the meeting?

    • Were there any problems?

    • Were you mature and respectful?

  • How do you feel about the ideas and opinions that you shared with the others in the meeting?

    • Did they listen to you?

    • Are there goals where you helped?

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Student Section: about it?

To help motivate and engage students through the overarching unit questions

To provide visual and instructional prompts and support for instruction

Teacher Section:

To provide unit design information including possible state standards and outcomes-based assessments

Work is based upon Understanding by Design’s research-based practices and processes

To provide further description of possible lessons and activities

The next 6 slides show the three stages of unit design applied to this unit.

Teacher’s Section:Developing and Using the Unit

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Stage ONE: about it?

Identify external standards and overall unit goals that are relevant to the students’ strengths and needs

Incorporate these standards and goals to create relevant, authentic questions that “hook” students and address any key misunderstandings

Stage TWO:

Develop assessments that demonstrate thorough unit learning by using the Six Facets of Understanding

Stage THREE:

Develop learning activities that develop the knowledge and skills needed to successfully complete the assessments and to demonstrate thorough unit understanding

Teacher’s Section:Using the Three Stages ofUnderstanding by Design

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Stage ONE: about it?Applying Relevant Content Standards Ohio Department of Education Middle School Standards

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Content Standards (cont.) about it?

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Stage TWO: about it?Understanding By Design’s Six Facets of Understanding(Wiggins & McTighe, 1998)

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Student watches a video on the IEP process (e.g., about it?Choicemaker Series on “Self-Determined IEP) and describes the purpose of an IEP meeting, and how it can help him/her work with the IEP team.

Student can describe and/or demonstrate proper behavior for an IEP meeting, and how to express opinions.

Student can describe and/or demonstrate proper ways to express oneself during disagreements:

Can suggest practical steps for conflict-resolution for real or mock scenarios

Student demonstrates increasing skills in formulating and clarifying an idea, and presenting that idea to a group

Student can identify some possible, realistic long and short-term goals and present these at an upcoming IEP meeting

Student can explain who will attend their IEP meeting and why they attend

Student identifies those who must, and those who are optional to attend

Student sends a personal invitations to each and records their responses and informs the team coordinator

Student participates in a mock, and then a real IEP/transition meeting, and demonstrates increasing abilities across the 11 steps (using rating scales)

Using the Six Facets to collect evidence of the students’ knowledge and skills about IEP meetings

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Stage One: about it?

Uses authentic and life-long student needs (e.g., to participate meaningfully in IEP and adult agency meetings), with

State standards,

To develop inquiry-based overarching unit questions (and unit goals) that drive and focus the unit’s:

Assessment of outcomes and

Lessons and instructional activities to support the outcomes assessments

Stage Two:

Uses the overarching unit questions and goals to ensure assessment and documentation of outcomes

Use the Six Facets of Understanding to demonstrate thorough, depth of learning

IEP Unit Development Review

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Unit Development Process Summary about it?

  • Use Stage One’s:

    • overarching and enduring understandings

    • which incorporate and unpack external standards,

  • To plan Stage Two’s:

    • assessments to collect evidence of these understandings,

    • across the Six Facets,

  • Which are supported by Stage Three’s:

    • learning experiences and instructional activities

      • that ensure that students have the necessary skills and knowledge

      • to fully and effectively demonstrate these understandings

      • across each of the Six Facets.

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Use about it?Choicemaker video to introduce students to IEP participation & the 11 step process

Students identify their strengths and needs, and use these to develop long and short term goals

Students practice presenting goals and ideas to the class and to others, in a clear and “professional” manner

Students participate in a mock IEP meeting and use some or all of the 11 steps

Students identify and select individuals to attend IEP meeting, send invitations and track responses

Students demonstrate increasingly mature and appropriate behavior at mock and real IEPs, including listening and conflict resolution skills

Students self evaluate using the Meeting Meter and the 11-step rating forms, and compare their own with teacher ratings

Stage THREE: Suggested Teaching Activities

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Communication Skill: Identifying IEP Members

Writing: Sending IEP Invitations

Social Studies: IEP Conflict Resolution


Students rate their IEP participation, and

Compare these ratings with those of their teacher

Develop perspective skills and objectivity

Develop and practice strategies to improve for future meetings.

Stage THREE: Suggested Lesson Ideas

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Lesson Plan: Identifying IEP Team Members about it?

Activity: Identifying members in preparation for Steps 1-2 of Self-Determined IEP (11 steps).

Behavioral Objectives: Each student will be able to identify both required and optional members of their IEP team at a mock and/or real IEP meeting with 80% accuracy for their names, titles, and roles. Related objective: Each student will correctly introduce ALL IEP members at mock and real IEP meetings, including each person’s name and title with 80% accuracy.

Prerequisite Knowledge: IEP meeting and its purpose, roles of typical school personnel

Lesson Procedure: (1) Introduction (motivation, engagement, review of prior learnings): Engage the students and review by asking questions such as, What is an IEP and how can it help you be more successful? If you could choose people to help you plan your future, who would you include?

(2) Steps for learning (development and key questions): Probe and scaffold student’s learning to identify (a) who is required to attend an IEP meeting and why (their role), (b) who may also be invited to attend and why (their role). Ask students to identify both required and optional persons important to attend their own IEP meeting, their names, title, and role (students can work in pairs or groups then check each other’s work).

(3) Culmination (review of today's learnings and links to future lessons): Review names, titles, and roles of persons. Have students practice using a matching game to help them remember (if needed).

Adaptations: Allow students to work individually or in groups, to research IEP attendance requirements, interview administrators and others about their IEP roles and responsibilities. Provide more assistance or ask students to identify only one person to attend meetings, compile these into full listing, use pictures and cues about school personnel and roles as needed.

Strategies/evidence for evaluation: Worksheet/Board accuracy (75% correct); Correct name cards

Follow-up: Explain/discuss how other professionals may need to attend some students’ IEPs depending upon needs (audiologists, speech therapists, OT/PTs, etc). Practice and model correct ways to introduce the team members and use this to build skills for completing Steps 1-2 of the 11-step process. Explain/discuss how students can use this skill at other meetings as well

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Lesson Plan: Sending IEP Invitations about it?

Activity:Sending invitations (and cover letter) for the IEP/Transition Meeting

Behavioral Objectives: Students will use the sample invitation format to type invitations to the IEP members with 90% accuracy for spelling and format. Students will track the responses from invitations regarding who is/is not able to attend the meeting at the identified time with 90% accuracy and report this to the IEP team coordinator each week.

Prerequisite Knowledge: Background on reason for IEP meetings; correct spelling and spellcheck using word processing; correct paragraph form, prior lesson on persons to attend IEP meetings, use of checklist for data collection.

Lesson Procedure: (a) Introduction: Review persons to attend IEP meeting and their role. Probe about how to inform/ask persons to attend (written invitation). Inform students they will be sending invitations and tracking the responses, and informing the IEP team coordinator.

(b) Steps for Learning: Ask students to identify key information to be included on an invitation (students may work in pairs to develop a sample, then whole class evaluates and revises). Develop sample form (see form that follows) or allow students to independently develop forms to use. Have students use list of individuals from “Identifying Team Members” lesson to fill in forms. [Optional addition: have students develop a cover letter to team to explain their role in participating in the IEP meeting, and the 11 steps they will follow, as increasing their own self-determination and responsibility for their own future.] Demonstrate how to develop checklist of individuals, how to collect data, and to whom the data should be reported.

(c) Culmination: Have students use spellcheck, have students review each other’s work for format and spelling of person’s names. Have students send invitations, track the responses, and report to team coordinator.

Adaptations: Students can be give more, or less, structure in completing their work and in tracking and reporting the responses. Students or teacher can create cover letter using business letter format and paragraphing (salutation, introduction, body, closing, etc.).

Strategies/Evidence for Evaluation: Proper format, spelling of names, all individuals included and tracked.

Follow-Up: Make follow-up contacts for individuals who have not responded by deadline, send reminders and track.

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Dear about it?_(Person’s Name you want to come),

Your presence is requested at (name and address of your school).

For an Individualized Education planning meeting for

(Your name)____________

Date: (month/day/year of the meeting)

Time: (hour: minute)a.m. / p.m.

Room: (room number)

R.S.V.P. to (this is French and means to please let you know if they can or cannot come to the meeting

Before (month/day/year—deadline to tell you)

Thank you for your support in my education. Sincerely,

(your signature goes here)

Dear ____________________,

Your presence is requested at ___________________________

For an Individualized Education planning meeting for __________________________

Date: _______________

Time: ___________a.m. / p.m.

Room: ____________

R.S.V.P. to _________________________

Before ______________________

Thank you for your support in my education. Sincerely,

Sample Invitation Format

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Invitation Response Checklist about it?

Date Response Received

Attendance (Yes/No)









Date Invitation Mailed

[Student logs each invitation made: when mailed, when response received, and nature of response. Student reports results to teacher and administrator (principal) prior to the meeting.]

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Lesson Plan: IEP Conflict Resolution about it?

Activity: Learning appropriate listening, problem and conflict resolution skills 

Behavioral Objective: The students will develop at least one positive solution by using the five steps for solving conflicts, with 4/5 steps correct.  

Prerequisite knowledge: Memory of prior conflicts with peers and adults, ability to analyze feelings and behaviors.

Lesson Procedure: (a) Introduction: Ask students about prior conflicts they have had with peers, siblings, or adults, or provide a scenario about a conflict similar to ones they have had. Discuss the outcomes of these conflicts, both positive and negative. Ask if they can think of ways to help resolve conflicts and disagreements more positively. Ask about how they believe disagreements are resolved at IEP meetings (formal settings).

(b) Steps for learning: Present conflict-resolution steps:

Step one, Identify the problem: What caused the conflict? What was said or done that led to the conflict? Step two, Propose solutions (brainstorm): Identify several solutions that could solve the conflict or problem. Step three, evaluate your ideas: Decide which solutions are better than others. Rank them if needed. Step four, Try out your solution: Use role play and practice better responses. Prepare to use in “real” situations with others. Ask for others’ feedback. Step five, evaluate your solution: Did the solution work? Could the result be improved? Ask for others’ feedback also. Revise and repeat steps four and five.

Present practice scenarios involving conflict and differences of opinions with peers and adults. Have students role play these for the rest of the class. Ask students to use the five steps to analyze the problem and develop solutions.

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IEP Conflict Resolution (cont.) about it?

(b) Steps for learning(cont)

Break students into small groups and give each group a scenario (or have students develop their own scenarios). Have each group use the five steps to identify possible positive solutions Have each group present their solutions and have the class give feedback.

Continue giving students practice scenarios as needed to develop skills. Include scenarios that are increasingly similar to situations they will face in IEP meetings, for example: adults in the meeting recommend that student take classes that they do not prefer, or recommend activities that the student dislikes. Practice good listening skills (to correctly identify the conflict) and creating positive solutions.

(c) Culmination: Have students review the five-step process and how it leads to positive solutions. Discuss how it helps students participate effectively in IEP meetings.

Adaptations: Have students develop their own scenarios, have them implement the 5 steps in their daily life—with family and friends and log or journal about each incident.

Strategies/evidence for evaluation: Students are able to generate at least one positive solution for each conflict, students show increasing skills in applying this process to their daily lives.

Follow-up: Discuss/describe how this process can be applied as conflict situations arise in school, discuss how process can be used in various work and adult situations, have students use process in mock and real IEPs and evaluate their solutions.

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IEP Student Participation Evaluation Forms about it?

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Student Participation in IEP/Transition Meetings

Student Questionnaire

My Name: __________________________

My IEP Date:________________________ 

1. I explained the reason or purpose (why) of the meeting. ___ NO ___YES 

2. I knew ________ people at my IEP meeting. I introduced ________ people to each other at my IEP meeting. (number or “all”) (number or “all”)

3. I talked about my past goals and how well I was doing: ___ NO ___YES: 1 2 3 4 5+ things

(circle number of things said)

4. I asked for feedback about my goals and how well I was doing: ___ NO ___YES

5. I talked about my current school and transition goals: ___ NO ___YES: 1 2 3 4 5+ things

(circle number of things said)

6. I didn’t understand some things: ___ (or) I understood everything: ___

I asked questions about things I didn’t understand: ___ NO ___YES: 1 2 3 4 5+ things

(circle number of things asked)

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Student Participation Evaluation (cont.) about it?Transition Services Preparation for Teachers of Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing StudentsStudent Participation in IEP/Transition MeetingsStudent Questionnaire

7. I disagreed with someone at the meeting: ___ NO ___YES

  I explained my reasons why I disagreed: ___ NO ___YES: 1 2 3 4 5+ things

(circle number of things explained)

8. I talked about help I needed with some of my transition goals: ___ NO ___YES: 1 2 3 4 5+ things

(circle number of things said)

9. I helped or I summarized my IEP goals: ___ NO ___YES: 1 2 3 4 5+ things

(circle number of things said)

10. I helped or I ended the IEP meeting by thanking ________ people. (number or “all”)

11. I will work on my IEP goals all year. The first thing I will do is:_________________________________________


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Teacher Evaluation Form about it?

Transition Services Preparation for Teachers of Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Students

Student Participation in IEP/Transition Meetings

Teacher Questionnaire

Student:_________________________ IEP Meeting:________________________

1. Student stated the reason or purpose of the meeting.

2. Student knew _______ people at the IEP meeting. Student introduced _______ people at the IEP meeting.

(number or “all”) (number or “all”)

3. Student talked about past goals and how well s/he was doing: ___ (# of things said).

4. Student asked for feedback about goals and how well s/he was doing:___ (# of things said).

5. Student talked about current school and transition goals: ___ (# of things said).

6. Student asked ___ (# ) questions about things s/he didn’t understand or ___ (check) understood everything.

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Teacher Evaluation Form (cont.) about it?Transition Services Preparation for Teachers of Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing StudentsStudent Participation in IEP/Transition MeetingsTeacher Questionnaire

7. Student disagreed with someone (___ NO ___YES) and explained his/her reasons: ___ (# of things said).

8. Student talked about help needed with some goals: ___ (# of things said).

9. Student helped to, or summarized his/her IEP goals: ___ (# of things said).

10. Student helped or ended the IEP meeting by thanking ________ people. (number or “all”)

11. Student can identify steps to work on 1st (___Yes/___No) and subsequent (___Yes/___No) IEP goals.

 Based upon the student’s communication, cognitive, and other abilities, s/he did: (circle one)

very well / well / satisfactorily / not well / poorly


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Other Resources about it?

  • NICHCY: A Student’s Guide to the IEP by Marcy McGahee-Kovac, 2002 (

    • Identifying strengths, needs, and accommodations (p. 8)

  • NICHCY: Technical Assistance Guide, Helping Students Develop Their IEPs, January 2002.

    • Forms, strategies, and suggestions

  • Reiman, J. Bullis, & Davis, C. (no date). Transition competency battery for deaf and hard of hearing adolescents and young adults. Santa Barbara, CA: James Stanfield Co.

    • Six transition (video) subtests normed on D/HH students:

      Job seeking Work adjustment

      Job related/interpersonal skills Money management

      Health/home Community awareness

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References about it?

  • Choicemaker Series: Self-Determined IEP by Martin and Marshall, Sopris West, Pub.

  • Martin, J. E., & Marshall, L. H. (1998). ChoiceMaker: Choosing, planning and taking action. In M. L. Wehmeyer & D. J. Sands (Eds.), Making it happen: student involvement in education planning, decision making, and instruction (pp. 211-240). Baltimore, MD: Paul H. Brookes.

  • Wiggins, G., & McTighe, J. (1998). Understanding by Design. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

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