Definition:  Here is a definition provided by the U.S. Department of Education Guide to the Individualized Education Program:  Each public school child who receives special education and related services must have an Individualized Education Program (IEP). Each IEP must be designed for one student and must be a truly individualized document. The IEP creates an opportunity for teachers, parents, school administrators, related services personnel, and students (when appropriate) to work together to improve educational results for children with disabilities. The IEP is the cornerstone of a quality education for each child with a disability.

To create an effective IEP, parents, teachers, other school staff–and the student–must come together to look closely at the student’s unique needs. These individuals pool knowledge, experience and commitment to design an educational program that will help the student be involved in, and progress in, the general curriculum. The IEP guides the delivery of special education supports and services for the student with a disability. Without a doubt, writing–and implementing–an effective IEP requires teamwork. (U.S. Department of Education)

IEP Websites

  • For the above mentioned Guide: Go to, Type IEP into the search box on the right, when the screen appears, A Guide to the Individualized Education Program is the first article.
  • This is always a trusted resource. Use the box on the left to scroll for articles or the search option. The site is loaded with information but it’s cluttered.
  • California Department of Education: The state of CA has a great collection of articles and resources, many are from the U.S. Department of Education, but they’re all in one spot, which is nice.