• Ready, Set, Go | April 2017

"Self-determination allows young people to make choices and decisions to direct their own lives" (I'm Determined Project, Module 4). Self-directed learning, a component of self-determination, includes taking initiative and being responsible for one's learning and requires choice- and decision-making skills. Tools are available to assist all students in the process of self-directed learning and leading their Individualized Education Program (IEP) meetings and other conferences. (I'm Determined Project, Module 4)
Be READY to empower students in student-led conferences and the IEP process. In order for students to be prepared to take leadership, consider the following guiding questions.  
» "What do educators need to know and do in order to introduce the student-led IEP process to students, families, and other educators?

» What do students need to know about themselves and their IEPs in order to benefit from the student-led IEP process?

» What do quality student-led IEPs look and feel like for students, families, and teachers?" (OSSE Division of Specialized Education Webinar, 2014)
SET in motion opportunities for students to participate in, and lead, IEP meetings and conferences by:
» Having students complete and share their One-Pager tool. This tool provides a snapshot of the student's strengths, preferences, interests, and needs, using either words, pictures, or a combination thereof.  

» Meeting with the students to discuss the federal laws that protect the rights of people with disabilities. This is a great way to help them understand their accommodation rights, increase their knowledge of their abilities and disability and help them understand how this impacts their education and their IEP. (Understood.org).

» Reviewing the Student-led IEP PowerPoint (Student-Led IEP PowerPoint). Then, utilizing the information in the PowerPoint, pick one student to complete his or her IEP PowerPoint, determine their level of involvement and create invitations to the IEP meeting.
For more information, tools, and resources, GO to:

» I'm Determined  Funded by the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE), this state-directed project focuses on providing direct instruction, models, and opportunities to practice skills associated with self- determined behavior. Resources, links, videos and examples that provide a walkthrough of the student-led IEP and student-led conference processes are also available.

» Student-Led Conference Faculty Handbook, created by Washington Heights Expeditionary Learning School (WHEELS), a New York city public school, offers great detail regarding implementing student-led IEPs. It includes sample documents to help you evaluate this process and gather student input.
» Your TTAC library for additional resources, including:  
  • It's about Me: A Step-by Step Guide for Creating My IEP by the Partnership for People with Disabilities

» Bailey, J.M. & Guskey, T.R. (2001) Implementing Student-Led Conferences. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin. 

»Grosser, D. (2015) VDOE TTAC at William and Mary. œ Developing Self-Determination Skills through Student-Led IEPs.

I'm Determined Module 4: Students Determined to Take Control of Their Education and Their Lives - This module, from the VDOE-directed I'm Determined project, includes resources, videos, links, and examples that provide a walkthrough of the student-led IEP and student-led conference processes.

Office of State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) Division of Specialized Education Secondary Transition Webinar Series: Facilitating Student-Led IEPs. (2014). Washington, D.C.  

Thoma, C.A. and Wehman, P. (2010) Getting the Most out of IEPs: An Educator's Guide to the Student-Directed Approach. Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes. 

» Understood.org - School & Learning: Basics about Your Child's Rights-At a Glance: Which Laws Do What 
This news brief is a collaborative effort of the Virginia Department of Education Training and Technical Assistance Centers at George Mason University and James Madison University. This issue was prepared by the staff of the VDOE TTAC at James Madison. For questions about content, please contact Amanda Randall (randalaa@jmu.edu), John McNaught (mcnaugjt@jmu.edu) or Jesse Rodriguez (rodri3jm@jmu.edu) or call 540.568.6746.