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Can a service or support that is available to all students go into the IEP?

posted Feb 13, 2016, 2:01 PM by Diane Willcutts   [ updated Feb 14, 2016, 8:11 AM ]

Sometimes parents will hear that we can't put something in the IEP because it is just "good teaching" or is something that is available to all students, not just those receiving special education.  

However, if a student has an IEP and that service is essential to an appropriate program, it must go in the IEP.  

From the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) Letter to Chambers (bold added):

The IEP Team is responsible for determining what special education and related services are needed to address the unique needs of the individual child with a disability.  The fact that some of those services may also be considered “best teaching practices” or “part of the district’s regular education program” does not preclude those services from meeting the definition of “special education” or “related services” and being included in the child’s IEP.  The LEA must provide a child with a disability specially designed instruction that addresses the unique needs of the child that result from the child’s disability, and ensures access by the child to the general curriculum, even if that type of instruction is being provided to other children, with or without disabilities, in the child’s classroom, grade, or building.

This makes sense, as what is available to all children in one school may not be available to all children in another school.  If the child moves, their IEP goes with them, and it would need to be implemented by the new school.

OSEP's Letter to Chambers is attached to this post.
Diane Willcutts,
Feb 14, 2016, 8:10 AM