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Individual Education Plans


IEP is simply a plan or a program that ensures children with a disability get the desired education without struggling much. This mostly happens to children and students attending elementary and secondary educational institutions. The program is developed with various stakeholders, including family members, advocates, and the school, just to list a few (University of Washington, 2019). There is more involved in IEPs than just a program as it aims to create a level ground even for students with disabilities to ensure they are not left behind. They receive an education that best suits their needs, thus helping them to grow and become important people in society. This paper will analyze the history, purpose, components, and legal implications of IEPs.

History of IEPs

To understand the IEP process, one must understand its history. The thought of IEPs came into play in the 1900s, but it took momentum as of 1954. This was after the Supreme Court of the United States had to rule on the case of Brown V. Board of Education. The ruling was initially made to prevent Afro-American students from being discriminated against equal educational opportunities as their counterparts. This opened the door for many lawsuits that followed later as parents started bringing forward cases against their districts’ schools, discriminating the students with disabilities (Lsabino, 2020). The Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Education for All Handicapped Children Act of 1975 set a precedent for establishing IEPs. It is important to note that before this act, many students with disabilities could not attend school unless for the few ones who were most privileged. With FAPE in place, all students with disability are set to receive specialized programs to this day, and that is IEPs come into the picture.

Purpose of IEPs

Most people view IEPs just like a written document, but there is more to that. It is important to note that IEP is protected under IDEA. Its main primary purpose is simply to identify students with disabilities and the unique needs they may have when it comes to education. After identifying the special needs, all the stakeholders, including the school, teachers, and parents, must come together to ensure that the students get the desired education. The criteria used to measure students’ needs are based on their strengths, preferences, and interests (Belsky, 2019). The IEPs simply monitor the progress the child is making.

Components of IEPs

IEPs have certain components that they must meet. The students are guided to operate under a specific goal according to their academic achievement and performance levels. The IEP must also outline the services the students will receive. The IEP program also specifies if there are any special accommodations that the student should be given, especially in the classroom (Logsdon, 2018). The participation and statewide assessments give an insight into how the students will be assessed. These are just some of the components that IEPs must have.

Legal Implications

IEP is a legal document protected under the law and several acts. The schools, teachers, and parents must strictly adhere to it when the student is qualified under the program. Failing to provide the services listed in the IEP can result in serious legal consequences. The parents and the school can sit and agree on the best program for the student (U.S. Department of Education, 2019). The family can sue the school for failing to follow the guidelines under IEPs.

In conclusion, IEP is a program or plan to ensure that students with disabilities get the desired education. The IEP is a legally bound program, and it was established and came into full functioning after 1975. The components of the IEP must be followed, and if not, there are always legal consequences for the breaching parties.


Belsky, G. (2019, August 5). What Is an IEP? Understood.

Logsdon, A. (2018). What Should Your Child’s IEP Include? Verywell Family.

Lsabino. (2020). History of Individualized Education Program | Education Alternatives. Easchools.

U.S. Department of Education. (2019). Archived: Guide to the Individualized Education Program.

The University of Washington. (2019). What is an individualized education plan? | access computing.


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