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Special Education Essentials: Implementing the Individualized Education Program

Special Education Essentials: Implementing the Individualized Education Program
February 7, 2024 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM EST
Attributes English-Language Learners (ELL), Students with Disabilities


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Join AFT’s Share My Lesson and expert presenters from the AFT for this free, for-credit webinar exploring the special education essentials of implementing an individualized education program (IEP).  

An IEP is a critical process that ensures schools are providing FAPE (Free Appropriate Public Education) to every student with an IEP. On a practical level, this involves collaboration among members of the IEP team which includes the parent/caregiver, general education teacher, special education teacher, paraprofessional, specialized instructional support personnel (school psychologist, speech language pathologist, school counselor, social worker, school nurse, and occupational therapist, for example), community organizations, and other relevant stakeholders.

The second webinar in the series will address:

  • Accountability and Transparency: The IEP holds the school system accountable for delivering the services and supports outlined in a student’s individualized program.
  • Parental Involvement: The IEP process involves parents/caretakers as active participants in decision-making. Their input and feedback are valued in creating a plan that addresses their child's specific needs.
  • Progress Monitoring: Through regular progress monitoring and reporting, an IEP ensures that the student's educational program remains effective and relevant. It allows for adjustments to be made if the student is not making adequate progress towards their goals.
  • Equitable Access to Education: Implementing an IEP helps level the playing field for students with disabilities. It ensures they have the same opportunities for learning and academic achievement as their nondisabled peers.
  • Inclusion and Integration: An IEP facilitates the inclusion of students with disabilities in general education settings to the maximum extent appropriate. 
  • Behavioral and Social Emotional Needs: An IEP also focuses also addresses behavioral and social skills that impact academic progress. It provides strategies and supports to help applicable students succeed in various aspects of their educational experience.
  • Transition Plan: The IEP also includes transition goals (based on the age of the student) that prepare students for life after high school.
  • Ensures Consistency and Continuity of Support: Even if a student changes schools, moves to a different district or state, the IEP follows the student. This ensures continuity of the support and services outlined in the individualized program.

Essentially, IEP implementation is instrumental in guaranteeing that students with disabilities receive a quality education that is tailored to their individual needs. It upholds the legal right to FAPE and provides a framework for collaboration to support a child's academic and overall development.

We hope you will register for more webinars in the Special Education Essentials series, where we will dive into practical strategies and approaches that teachers, paraprofessionals and other school personnel can employ to create an inclusive and supportive learning environment. Discover how to meet the unique needs of students with disabilities while fostering an atmosphere of diversity, equity and inclusion within your school community.

Note: Each webinar is a stand-alone professional development webinar; you can watch one or all and in any particular order that suits your needs.   

Professional Credit

Available for one-hour of PD credit. A certificate of completion will be available for download at the end of your session that you can submit for your school's or district's approval.

Share My Lesson is a New York State Education Department-approved provider for Continuing Teacher and Leader Education (CTLE) requirements, an Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) approved professional development provider, and a Texas Education Agency (TEA) approved professional development provider.


Elaine Bernal, special education teacher, Oak Lawn, Ill.

Lia Council, special education teacher, Yonkers, N.Y.

Jen Emrich, special education teacher, Langhorne, Pa.

Candice Pettus, special education teacher, Washington, D.C.



Webinar 2 - AFT Teachers.pdf

February 7, 2024
2.1 MB
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Webinar Overview - Implementing the Individualized Education Program.docx

February 16, 2024
0.1 MB
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Webinar Key Takeaways - Implementing the Individualized Education Program.docx

February 16, 2024
0.1 MB
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