IEP Questions?

I have a nine year old daughter that is visually impaired, she has her big IEP meeting coming up in two weeks. Although she is provided excellent service, as her parent I don't just want to go into this meeting sitting back with no questions to ask. Can anyone offer any good advise on how to prepare my husband and I to be our child's advocate, what are some good questions to ask? 
Thank you in advance,

J

Comments

Posted by Diane BraunerSep 11, 2017

The following answers were originally posted on the blindkid mailing list:

Ask what technology they are teaching her? How much time she gets in the
classroom? Is there anything you've noticed that's not brailled? Ask them
If she's finding her pages, handing in her homework, etc just like everyone
else. If not ask why? Ask them what other things they are doing for her?
Ask if they are working on expanded core curriculum.

–A

I am not a parent but someone who went through the IEP process as a
blind student in the K-12 system.
Some questions I can think of (for yourself and maybe for the IEP meeting)
1. How is she doing socially with her peers?
2. Her involvement in extracurricular activities?
3. Is she meeting academic milestones just like typically developing peers?

-M

Is this a "big" IEP in the sense that new evaluations have been done?  If
yes, have you had a chance to see the results yet?  I always wanted to see
them in advance so that we would feel broad-sided at the meeting with
something negative.

How do you think your daughter is doing in school?  Is she meeting last
year's IEP goals?  Have the goals been appropriate?  Do you feel the school
has been provided good, appropriate services?

Will you have a chance to see the IEP in advance?  It is not supposed to be
presented to you as a done deal--it is supposed to be collaboratively
created by all members of the team, including parents :-).

If you see the IEP in advance or for the first time at the meeting, do the
goals seem appropriate?  Do you have other goals you'd like the school to
be working on?  If yes, bring them to the meeting.

-C

Questions: Is the TVI teaching my daughter braille certified? Can she teach
all aspects of Nemeth code.

Is she fluent with Jaws, NVDA and braille displays on a PC computer to
teach her all the Microsoft suite programs as well as the school platform,
internet searching and all aspects of how to make image documents into text
so she can access work as fast as her peers and complete it in as timely a
manner as her peers. Can she email work and receive work from teachers by
herself?

Is she completing all the same work as her peers in the same timely manner?
If not-why?
Does she do hours of homework every night and if so- why?

The PC computer and Office suite and google are they most used products in
the world--if she wants a job she needs to know these proficient with
talking software and a braille display. Is she on this path of learning
these skills.

How is she completing all her math assignments? Can she show all her work
in a word document that she can email to a teacher and can the teacher use
track changes to send back the work so your child can read it independently?

Is she fully independent in the class or does she need a para? What are you
doing to make her independent so she no longer needs someone helping her?

Those are a few questions you may already know the answers to and to ask of
her team

-D1

In a nutshell, your daughter should be learning/doing exactly what her sighted classmates are required to do.  If she's struggling to keep up, the school system must provide her with the tools she needs to have the same education.  This includes all technology. 

-C

These are all wonderful suggestions, particularly the one that Carol gave you concerning getting a copy of the IEP before the meeting so that you can review it, and make additions, deletions etc.. I advise parents with whom I work to always get a copy first and to cancel the meeting and reschedule if they don't receive the copy.

Your daughter needs to be learning to advocate for herself in the classroom, learning to try to do a challenging activity before asking for help, learning to ask peers for information and assistance, finding her place/role in working groups without adult intervention and so on.
If the school still has the aide as involved now as she was in the early grades, eg. meeting her at the bus, sitting beside her in the classroom, helping her in the cafeteria and standing by watching, walking with her in class lines in transit between rooms, etc., then goals for the organised "stepping back" of the teacher aide are absolutely essential to have in this IEP.

-H

Future Reflections recently ran a special issue about IEPs, Volume 36,
Number 2. The feature article is a detailed explanation of the IEP and what
it should include by TVI, attorney, and parent Carlton Walker. You can find
the online version by visiting www.nfb.org and clicking on Publications.

-D2

As an educator, I am excited when parents actively participate in IEP meetings, ask questions, provide input - especially on how the student handles homework and how the student feels about school, peers, etc.  Parents like you - who are actively seeking information from other sources - are also aware of the daily ins/outs of how the student is doing in school.  If your daughter has an any issue, you are probably already aware of it and working with her educational team to resolve it.  Support from home makes all the difference!

From your original statement, it sounds like your daughter has excellent service.  I’m assuming that her academic skills are inline with her peers, so you are probably seeking information about additional skills related to her visual impairment. Prior to the meeting, I would learn as much as you can about what skills your daughter’s class will be learning this year and what tools your daughter needs to accomplish these skills.  In this digital age, tech skills are critical for all students!  Technology, with its built-in accessibility, can level the playing field for students who are visually impaired! Here are some tech-related questions to consider for her IEP.  Are there any modifications that she needs to access materials used? You did not mention what is your daughter’s preferred learning media (print, large print/magnification/braille or a combination). What technology does she currently use and what tech skills will be needed?  Are there apps that will help her access materials, such as a screen sharing app to view what is on the board if she is low vision or an accessible calculator app? Does she use a screen reader?  What is the speed of the speech rate on her screen reader? Does she keyboard/type efficiently? Does she receive and read books from Bookshare? To help jump-start tech discussions, here is a post that lists general tech skills required for mainstream high schoolers and for fifth graders; the post also adds tech skills for students who are visually impaired. Mastering Tech Skills: When and What?

-D3

 

 

Add new comment