February 16, 2023 | KY-SPIN

>>AMBER:  Hello, everyone.  Welcome to our first session or session one of the lunch and learn sessions that we’ll be putting on preparing for the Admission and Release Committee of the Individualized Education Program.  And the topic today is going to be the IEP Team and who’s a member.

I would like to go over just a few housekeeping items as we go into today’s session.  We are all workin...

>>AMBER:  Hello, everyone.  Welcome to our first session or session one of the lunch and learn sessions that we’ll be putting on preparing for the Admission and Release Committee of the Individualized Education Program.  And the topic today is going to be the IEP Team and who’s a member.

I would like to go over just a few housekeeping items as we go into today’s session.  We are all working from home.  So we do ask for grace, as ‑‑ you know, anything can happen.  We have kids and animals, and ‑‑ hmm ‑‑ UPS and Amazon showing up at any time.  So we do ask for grace, if you hear some noises.  It’s also storming across Kentucky today.  So we do have a lot of wonderful employees from SPIN on to help out in case in internet goes down, there will be someone else to ‑‑ hmm ‑‑ pick up and carry on.

If you need to step away for a moment to take care of yourself, please do.

This session is being recorded.  So if there are ‑‑ anything that maw may need to ‑‑ you may need to miss to take care of personal needs, you can always come back and rewatch.  We’ll move right along.

So Kentucky special parent involvement network or Kentucky SPIN was funded by the U.S. Department of Education under IDEA since 1988 when Kentucky first received a PTI.  Kentucky SPIN Parent Center provides training and information for support for children and youth with all types of disabilities, birth through 26 years of age and beyond.  Their parents, families and professionals.

It’s also good to know that we do not require anyone to have a diagnosis for us to assist them at SPIN.  We are here to assist anyone.

At Kentucky SPIN, it’s easier to tell you what we do not do.  Because we do just about everything else.  So we do not act as thorns and we are not ‑‑ attorneys and we are not advocates.  However, we do empower families and individuals to effectively become advocates for themselves and for their children.  We provided peer‑to‑peer support model to help families access needed information.

When you contact someone at SPIN, hmm ‑‑ understand that we all are individuals with disabilities or family members of individuals with disabilities, so we are either continuing to walk the same journey that you are or may have walked a very similar journey in the past.

And we can share our experiences, good or negative and the outcomes in order to help us on your journey.

The contents of the series that we’ll be doing, number one, or the first session today, the IEP team, who is a member.  Next week, will be content of the IEP.  The third meeting of the session we’ll be having is meeting of the IEP team.  And the fourth session will be least restrictive environment and decision‑making.

Since the passage of public law, 94‑dash 142 in 1975, parents have been recognized as vital members of the IEP team.  Everyone agrees that parents have an enduring and passionate interest in the well‑being and education of their child.  It makes perfect sense that congress ensures that parents are represented on the IEP team front and center.

The school must invite the parents to the IEP meeting early enough to ensure that one or both parents have the opportunity to attend and participate.  The notice must include the purpose of the meeting, its time, location, and who will be attend ‑‑ who all will be attending the meeting.

Typically, parents know their children very well.  Not just the child’s strengths and weaknesses, but all the little qualities that make their child unique.

Parents knowledge can keep the team focused on the big picture of the child.  They can help the team to create an IEP that will work appropriately for the ‑‑ that child and the individualized need of that child.

Parents can describe what goals are most important to them and to their children.  Share their concerns and suggestions for enhancing their children’s education.  And give insights into their son or daughter’s interests, likes and dislikes and learning styles.  By being an active IEP team member, parents can also infuse the IEP planning process with thought about long‑term needs for the child’s success in life.

Being actively involved in developing their child’s IEP is a parent’s right and a parent’s choice.  As shown on handout D four, in parent participation, this means that the public agency must notify parents of the meeting early enough to ensure that one or both of the parents have an opportunity to attend, schedule the meeting at a mutually agreed upon time and place, and take whatever action is necessary to ensure that the parent understands what’s going on and being said at the meeting.  Including arranging for an interpreter for parents with deafness or who’s native language is other than English.

>>RHONDA:  And amber, I think some words to know, if we could back up a moment there.
>>AMBER:  Sure.
>>RHONDA:  Some words to keep in mind, a lot of people that live in Kentucky, they are used to ‑‑ hmm ‑‑ hmm ‑‑ admissions and release committee meeting, or ARC meeting or ARC meeting that’s who is responsible for developing and reviewing and revising the IEP and that’s the IEP team.  Sometimes you may hear it referred to IEP team, in Kentucky, we gave an additional name to it as the ARC team.  But just know that including the parent just as amber explained, is a critical member of that committee and IEP team.

Another thing too that ‑‑ when you see ‑‑ and ‑‑ and amber will go more in detail too prior written notice, is a huge part of IDEA and the parental rights.  You have the right as a parent to be notified.  And there are different situations ‑‑ hmm ‑‑ that and throughout the law that you have that opportunity.  Another thing too, any time that you might see a stated ‑‑ state education agency or SEA, just know that in Kentucky, that is the Kentucky Department of Education.  And any time that you see ‑‑ hmm LEA or local education agency, that’s going to be your local public school district.

Hmm ‑‑ when we look at the federal law, it will just say ‑‑ because it applies to all different states.  SEA and LEA.  Just know that is Kentucky Department of Education and then your local public school districts.

>>AMBER:  Thank you for that, Rhonda.
>>RHONDA:  Oh, you are welcome.  I think we could go two ahead.
>>AMBER:  Yeah, you are right.

So ‑‑ we are going to talk a little bit more about ‑‑ huh ‑‑ one of those acronyms that Rhonda just went over, which is the PWN or prior written notice.  Giving parents notice of IEP meetings.  The notice given to parents by the agency must indicate the purpose, time and location of the meeting.  And who will attend.  The notice must also inform parents about the participation of other individuals on the IEP team who have knowledge or special expertise about the child and the parent’s right to invite such an individual to be a member of the IEP team.

The public agency also has the right to invite such an individual.

The notice given to parents by the agency must indicate the purpose, time, and location of the meeting and who will attend.

The notice must also inform parents about the participation of other individuals.  The IEP team who have knowledge and expertise about the child and parents.  The public agency also has the right to invite such an individual.

Who makes the determination regarding the person’s knowledge or special expertise about the child?

IDEA 2004 states:  This determination is made by the party inviting the individual to serve as a member of the IEP team.

The notice must also let parents know if a representative of any other agency is going to be invited to the transition focused meeting.  This requirement arises in two circumstances in particular.

When children are transitioning from Part C to part B services, so that would mean early intervention to Special Education, and when youth with disabilities are planning ahead for their transition in life after high school.

When if the parents don’t attend?  A long‑standing provision in the part B regulations has been the public agency may hold the IEP meeting without the parents in attendance, if it is unable to convince them they should attend.

Even though this is not a new requirement of law, it may be important information to share with any audience.  Because public agencies have certain obligations in these circumstances.

These are listed in the box below and on handout D4.

Parent participation under the italicized phrase conducting an IEP team meeting without a parent in attendance.


What the public agency ‑‑
>>RHONDA:  Well ‑‑ and
>>AMBER:  I’m sorry, Rhonda, go ahead.
>>RHONDA:  So sorry, amber.  I was just going to say that because we get a lot of questions from families, can it take place without me?  It definitely can if the district has documented multiple attempts in trying to work with you, with schedules, with everybody working together, it can take place.

And many times, parents don’t know that and that’s why it’s so critical that you respond, even if the date does not work.  You are responding to the school, and ‑‑ not just saying ‑‑ you know ‑‑ no I can’t do this or it doesn’t work but then offer solutions of what might work.  It’s going to be helpful too.  And do that in writing ‑‑ hmm ‑‑ so that you can show you are responding ‑‑ hmm ‑‑ but know it can take place if they documented multiple attempts to try to ‑‑ do all they can to ‑‑ so that you can participate.
>>AMBER:  Absolutely.

What the public agency must do if parents do not attend the IEP meeting, conducting an IEP team meeting without a parent in attendance, a meeting may be conducted without a parent in attendance if the public agency is unable to convince that the parents should attend.  In this case, the public agency must keep a record of its attempts to arrange a mutually agreed on time and place.  Such as:  Detailed records of telephone calls made or attempted and the results of the calls.

Copies of correspondence sent to the parent and any responses received as well as detailed records of visits made to the parents’ home or place of employment and the results of the visits.

Alternatives to attending.  Sometimes, it’s just not possible for a member to attend the meeting.  And that is includes the parents.

IDEA 2004 include two provisions that are relevant to these issues.  The first is on handout D4.  Parent participation.

And reads:  Other methods to ensure parent participation if neither parent can attend an IEP team meeting.  The public agency must use other methods to ensure parent participation.

Including individual or conference telephone calls consistent with 300.328 related to alternative means of meeting participation.

Again, take a look at handout D4.  It’s in the provisions.  And what do 300.328 say?  It’s included in the box on the front page.  Paired down to its essence.  It indicates a parent of a child with a disability and a public agency may agree to use alternative means of meeting participation such as video conferences and conference calls.

>>RHONDA:  And we saw that a lot ‑‑ like prior to COVID, this may not ‑‑ this is ‑‑ it stated it in 2004 when they reauthorized IDEA that there needed to be those alternate means of participation which helped a lot of us.  As families, you know, we may not have been able to get away from work for several house but we could ‑‑ hours but we could use our lunch break but that didn’t give us the time to travel there and back.  We could still participate.

Now, you know, everything we have all lived through COVID, and a lot of meetings, hmm ‑‑ started taking place and we know with your child’s education through remote learning, things happened electronically and virtual learning.  There have been a lot of means just because we have all lived through COVID of how we could participate that ‑‑ although I didn’t want us all to live through COVID and the effects of it, there are opportunities and means to participate that may be we wouldn’t have had before.

Through different systems and everyone ‑‑ because IEP meetings, IEP still had to continue through COVID.  We have many more districts ‑‑ hmm ‑‑ that all of us are more familiar with it and it’s readily accessible so these means would be available to you.  Regardless if COVID is going on or not.  But something, amber, that pointed ‑‑ that you pointed out when it was during COVID, do you care to share your experience too?  Because they wanted to do virtual, but you didn’t feel that was best for a meeting.  Could you tell us about that?
>>AMBER:  Absolutely.

So during COVID, it was an amazing opportunity to have the virtual platforms such as Zoom or Google Meets.  But ‑‑ a lot of the times, well during COVID, the children were at home.  And as we encourage our children to be a part of their IEP meetings, because this is for them, some parts of the meetings at certain ages, our children just aren’t prepared to hear what’s going on.  So during that time, I requested that it be done in person.

That way, it gave me the opportunity to let my child be a part of the meeting, but when it was safe for them to be a part of the meeting.

Hmm ‑‑ I didn’t want ‑‑ it was an evaluation meeting, and there were going to be things said that my son just wouldn’t understand or be able to grasp.  Hmm ‑‑ so I felt it was very important that the meeting take place in person.  And I had that control over when he was able to hear and when he was not.  Because everything was happening in the home.

So I requested, and they did make that possible.

So ‑‑ the video platforms or the conference calls are amazing, but if that doesn’t work for your situation, you still have the right, as the parent, to request what works best for your situation.

The special educator on the IEP team, not less than one of the child’s Special Education teachers must also be included in the IEP team or when appropriate, a Special Education provider of the child.

In IDEA 2004, there’s a slight change to the wording of this requirement.

Under prior versions of the law, the requirement was for at least one Special Education teacher of the child to attend.  And now it states, not less than one.  A substantial change, not really.  What’s important is what the child’s Special Education teacher has to contribute to the IEP.  And that includes important information and experience about how to educate children with disabilities.

Because of his or her training in Special Education, the teacher can talk about such issues as how to modify the general education curriculum to help that child learn.  The supplementary aids and services that the child may need to be successful in the regular classroom and elsewhere.

How to modify testing or to provide the test with individual appropriate accommodations so that the child can show what he or she has learned and other aspects of individualizing the instruction to meet that child’s unique needs.

Beyond helping to write the IEP, the special educator has a responsibility for working with the child to implement the IEP.  He or she may work with the child in a resource room or special class devoted to children receiving Special Education services.

Team teach with the child’s regular education teacher and/or work with other school staff, particularly, the regular education teacher to provide expertise about addressing the child’s unique needs.

Obviously, having the special educator at the table is a very important part of writing an appropriate IEP for a child with a disability.  I do want to say ‑‑
>>RHONDA:  Well ‑‑
>>AMBER:  Oh, go ahead, Rhonda.
>>RHONDA:  So, sorry.  You know I interrupt all the time.


>>AMBER:  [Laughing.]

>>RHONDA:  This is how amber and I work together.  We feed off one another.  You know, one of the things too that is so critical to keep in mind is in the IEP, hmm ‑‑ you are specially designed instruction which is based on the goals you will write, has to be provided by a ‑‑ hmm ‑‑ certified Special Education teacher or certified therapist, it depends on what goal it is or specially designed instruction being provided.  So it is critical for the Special Education teacher to be there to develop, plan and give updates on the specially designed instruction and ‑‑ hmm ‑‑ really to help fill everyone in.  Because they are the qualified person that has to provide that our children and youth.  That’s another critical point.
>>AMBER:  Absolutely.

And I did want to say, up here as I was talking about the team teaching with the child’s regular education teacher, you may also hear the term co‑teaching.  And that may be how it’s written on your child’s IEP, and if that is the case, what that would mean is that the Special Education teacher is sitting in that general classroom with your child and co‑teaching with the general education teacher.

So that is an absolute wonderful way to not only get that one‑on‑one support for your child but it also, helps the general education teacher is some of the areas that he or she may not be familiar.

So that team teaching and co‑teaching, I just wanted to say are the same thing.  And a very vital part too of the IEP.

So the next person who is a part of the IEP team would be the regular educator or ‑‑ I’m sorry, the regular educator on the IEP team.

You might wonder why IDEA 2004 would require a regular education teacher of the child be on the IEP team.

When we are talking about the child receiving Special Education and the law does require that.  Stating that at least one regular education teacher must be represented on the team if the child is or may be participating in the regular education environment.

Therein, lies the answer.  Increasingly, many children with disabilities are being educated in the regular education environment.  If the child has just been identified as having a disability, if this is the child’s first IEP, then that child has been in the regular education environment all along.  So it’s very important that the child’s regular education teacher be a part of the team developing the child’s IEP.

But what is the teacher supposed to contribute?

According to the IDEA 2004 in the final part B regulations, the regular education teacher must, to the extent appropriate, determine appropriate positive behavioral interventions and supports and other strategies for the child.

And determine which supplementary aids and services, program modifications, and support for school personnel are needed to help the child progress towards obtaining the annual goals.  Be involved in and make progress in the general education curriculum, participate in extracurricular activities and other nonacademic activities.  And be educated and participate with other children with disabilities and those who are not disabled.

The final part B regulations do not provide examples.  But these supports and services might include adapting the curriculum, providing reading materials written at a lower reading level, using graphics along with written materials, or providing the child with a child assistant, the regular education teacher may also tell the rest of the team what he or she needs to help the child understand the general curriculum and achieve the goals that’s listed in the IEP.

The regular education teacher often knows the curriculum for the child’s grade level and want children in regular education classes ‑‑ what ‑‑ are typically expected to do.  If the child is going to be educated in the regular education environment for any part of the school day, when the child’s regular education teacher may talk at the IEP meeting about what the child will be taught and expected to learn.

This information can contribute directly to making decisions about when types of supplementary aids and services the child may need to be successful in that setting.

The public agency must also ensure that each regular education teacher as well as other service providers working with the child has access to the child’s IEP and is informed of his or her specific responsibilities related to implementing that IEP.

He or she must also be informed as to the specific accommodations, modifications, or supports that may be ‑‑ excuse me ‑‑ not may ‑‑ must be provided to that child in accordance with the IEP.

So as we can ‑‑
>>RHONDA:  And ‑‑
>>AMBER:  You go right ahead, Rhonda.
>>RHONDA:  I was going to say too, one of the major corner stones of IDEA and for the IEP is ‑‑ hmm ‑‑ and I’m not sure if ‑‑ you all are familiar with it.  But one of the core values is least restrictive environment.  LRE.  That is every child should be educated in the least restrictive environment meaning the regular education setting, unless that’s not what is appropriate or best for the child.  For each child, the least restrictive environment is going to be different.

Hmm ‑‑ and it needs to be made on an individual basis for each child, not based on the disability that they have, but the needs that they have and how to ‑‑ hmm ‑‑ and how to get the needs and supports.

It’s critical ‑‑ hmm ‑‑ you know ‑‑ that the some children I’ll just give the example, may need to go to resource room and it may be in their IEP for math.  That means going to get specially designed instruction from the Special Education teacher in math.

But you may during reading and English, there may be some coteaching with the Special Education teacher comes in and helps with the regular education teacher.

The critical thing that was important that you stated there too, Amber, is that at any point through the day, if they are in the regular education environment, it is critical they are a part of at the IEP team.  And all children should have opportunities ‑‑ to be with the nondisabled peers to the maximum extent possible for them.

Many times, I see it’s not based on the individual needs that if then based on the disability or the severity of the disability they have.  That’s not how things should work.  It should be individualized.

One person for example that has cerebral palsy may have different needs than another person that has it.  Those are key things in making sure that we do have the regular education teacher there and involved because that’s going to be critical for our children to be successful.
>>AMBER:  It is absolutely so critical.

And when we go through, and as we are discussing each team member, every single individual who is brought in as part of this IEP team, they are all going to be significant parts to ‑‑ to be successful in writing and implementing a successful IEP for each child.

Hmm ‑‑ so I always like to say that.  I’m a little biased when I talk.  I say that ‑‑ you know, the student, of course, is the most vital.  But anyone working with our student is going to bring great value to the success of that student.

And I just wanted to apologize, as well, I turned my camera off, it was making my internet just a little bit unstable.  I will try to get that back up as soon as the yellow bars go away.

The next person that we are going to talk about of the IEP team is the representative of the public agency.

The law specifies that this person must be qualified to provide or supervise the provision of specifically designed instruction to meet the unique needs of children with disabilities.

Knowledgeable about General Ed curriculum and knowledgeable about availability of resources of the public agency.

The phrase in the first bullet, qualified to provide special designed instruction is closely tied to the definition of Special Education, which begins the term Special Education, means specifically designed instruction at no cost to parents to meet the unique needs of a child with a disability.

Thus, the representative ‑‑
>>RHONDA:  Amber ‑‑
>>AMBER:  Yes, ma’am?
>>RHONDA:  I’m so sorry.  I always like to point out here that Special Education is not a place.  It’s a program.

Hmm ‑‑ and we want to keep that in mind throughout.  Because the ‑‑ the location of where your program is provided is what’s based on ‑‑ what’s best for the child.  For them to be successful.

So it’s not a place, it’s a program.
>>AMBER:  And I’m so glad that you did say that, Rhonda.  We hear that, even to this day, we hear it so often.  Where individuals ‑‑ will think that ‑‑ Special Education is a room.  It’s a room that individuals with disabilities are sent to.

Hmm ‑‑ and that’s absolutely so misconstrued.

Hmm ‑‑ Special Education is a program, just as Rhonda said, not a place.  And that’s why you will hear, as we go through this presentation, words like general education environment.  So thank you so much for bringing that up.  I very much appropriate it.

The last bullet is a very important bullet too.

As this person’s qualifications he or she must be knowledgeable about the viability of resources ‑‑ availability of resources of the public agency.  It doesn’t do any good to sit and plan in a vacuum wondering what type of help is available.  And if someone will actually commit that help on behalf of the child.

The public agency representative must know what resources the school has available.

This person must also have the power to commit the resources needed so that service can be provided as described in the child’s IEP.

Another thing that you can look at when we are talking about ‑‑ the representative of the public agency, they can be a person that has the authority to make financial decisions.

Hmm ‑‑ that you may hear that also.

But it needs to be someone that can ‑‑ hmm ‑‑ say we can spend this much moneys to utilize for this situation.

It is important however, that the agency representative have the authority to commit agency resources and be able to ensure that whatever services are described in the IEP will actually be provided.

The department declined to include the specific statement in the regulations because it was believed to be unnecessary.  Given that the public agency will be bound by the IEP that is developed at an IEP team meeting.

As a final note on this member of the IEP team, the regulations include the statement that the public agency may designate another public agency member of the IEP team to also serve as the agency representative as long as that person has the qualifications required for the public agency representative as discussed on this slide.

Thus, it’s impossible that the public agency representative may also be serving on the team in another role.

>>RHONDA:  Well, and I think it’s important when we say the public agency, that’s going to be your local education agency.  Your local public school districts.  So it would be their representative that would need to be at the meeting.

Because I know there may be different agency representatives on different teams from different places, depending upon the child’s needs and those who know the child best.  Again, this is directly related to the representative of the public school district.
>>AMBER:  Thank you, Rhonda.

The next team member we’ll be talking about is someone to interpret evaluation results.

Another important member of the IEP team is the individual who can interpret what the child’s evaluation results mean in terms of designing appropriate instruction.  This is an individual who can interpret the ‑‑ implications of the evaluation results.  There may be quite a stack of scores and totals on various tests of performance or other measures the child has completed as part of the evaluation process in Special Education.

Especially, if this IEP meeting is taking place after the initial evaluation is conducted to determine if the child indeed has a disability and is eligible for Special Education.

Results may also be available from state‑wide or district‑wide assessments, classwork, observations, outside evaluations that the parents have arranged and so forth.  Somehow the team has to move from those scores to that instruction.

And this is the person who brings that knowledge to the IEP team meeting table.

The evaluation results are very useful in determining how the child is currently doing in the school and what areas of the need the child has.  This is one of the evaluations explicit purposes as reflected in the definition of the evaluation.  Which reads:  Evaluation means procedures used in accordance with 300.304 through 300.311.

To determine where a child has a disability and the nature and extent of the Special Education and related services that child needs.

This IEP team member must be able to talk about the instructional implications of the child’s evaluation results which will help the team plan appropriate instructions to address the child’s needs.

He or she may be a member of the team already such as the child’s Special Education teacher or other public agency representative or may be someone else entirely.  Such as a school psychologist.

>>RHONDA:  And I always like to bring up ‑‑ and I know you do too, Amber, here is that ‑‑ hmm ‑‑ we always recommend because ‑‑ yes, it’s important someone be there to interpret those evaluation results.

But something that we always suggest is if there is going to be evaluation results, hmm ‑‑ gone over, prior to the meeting, ask that those results be provided to you.  It helps me to be able to go through ‑‑ hmm ‑‑ go through those because ‑‑ you know, if that’s your first time seeing the results and you have had no time to go through it and prepare ‑‑ and to write down questions, that’s going to give you the opportunity, as the parent, to be able to have your questions, concerns or anything further explained to you.

And I don’t know about you all, but most of the time, when I see evaluation results, it’s like they are written in a foreign language.

And I read a little bit slower, so I have to have time to really look at ‑‑ hmm ‑‑ and delve into it to understand it.  Because it could be very overwhelming when you go into an IEP meeting and everything is just provided to you right then.  Hmm ‑‑ and you are really not able to fully participate in that discussion because you have not had the opportunity prior to it to go through it.

Hmm ‑‑ and see what it says.

>>AMBER:  Absolutely and another thing to build off what Rhonda is saying.  Yes, data from evaluations can be very scary but also allow yourself time emotionally to hear and read these evaluation results.

As parents, we know our children.  Right?  And we know ‑‑ hmm ‑‑ we know what they’re capable of what they’re not capable of sometimes, but it really hits differently when you are reading it in black and white in front of you.  So give that time to yourself by requesting these documents a few days ahead of time so that you can do what you need to take care of yourself and work through some of those emotions too that comes with what is being read on that paper.

So ‑‑ another person that is part of the IEP team would be ‑‑ others with knowledge or special expertise about the child.

The IEP team may also include the discretion of the parent or the public agency.  The parent or the school system may invite these individuals to participate with the team.  Parents, for example, may invite a friend, a relative, it could be ‑‑ hmm ‑‑ a coach, that teaches your student.  Or it may be a scout leader.  Or someone that ‑‑ does church groups that your child attends.  Anyone that can bring valuable information in regards to the needs of your child can attend these meeting.  Now, if it is someone outside of school personnel, and you feel they could bring valuable information, it would be your duty, as the parent, to invite them.

The school will not invite outside attendees.  It’s always helpful to notify the school too.  If you do have ‑‑ you know, an outside therapist coming that work with your student ‑‑ hmm ‑‑ to just let the school know.  That way, they don’t feel like ‑‑ they’re being blindsided by anybody.  And it just keeps really good communication open and good rapport with the team in total.

What type of knowledge ‑‑
>>RHONDA:  And that ‑‑
>>AMBER:  Oh, go ahead, Rhonda.
>>RHONDA:  Sorry.  I was going to throw in one more thing.  That may also be a therapist within the school that’s working with your child that has knowledge.  It could be if your child is receiving speech therapy or occupational therapy, behavioral therapy at school.  Those are some other people that are going to be critical to be team members as well.

Again, it’s individualized based on who is working with the child.  And who is involved and that has that knowledge.

>>AMBER:  So what type of knowledge or special expertise does this person have to have about a child or how much knowledge or expertise in order to be a person with knowledge or special expertise.  Neither.  IDEA have specified answers to these questions.

However, final part B regulations specify it’s the party, parent or public agency who invited the individual to be a member of the IEP team who makes the determination of whether or not that person is invited and has the knowledge or special expertise about the child.

All right.  I want you to take a look at this picture on here.  And take a wild guess of who is missing from this IEP team on the picture.

>>RHONDA:  So you all just put it in the chat, if you will, who’s been left out as Amber’s went through and explained the different members that are critical.


[Pausing for response.]

>>RHONDA:  So ‑‑


>>AMBER:  Well ‑‑ Rhonda, do you want me to just let the cat out of the bag?
>>RHONDA:  Yes.  Please because to me, it’s the most important person.
>>AMBER:  Absolutely.  I gave you all the answers early on in the participation so far.  The youth.  The child, the young adult.

They’re not present in this picture.  And I do say all the time that I am biased, but they are the most important person.  This is their plan, this is their education and their future.  They should be the first person considered for the IEP team.

Operating on the premise that the child with a disability who is the focus of all the discussion and planning, may have something vital to contribute to planning his or her educational program and future, the regulations clearly provide for the child’s inclusion in and participation on the IEP team whenever appropriate.

According to two points emphasized on this slide, are the IDEA 2004 and the final part B regulation.  Provide that the public agency must include the child with a disability at the IEP meeting whenever appropriate.

And require that the child be invited to attend the meeting, if the purpose of the meeting will be in consideration of the postsecondary goals for the child and transition services needed to assist the child in reaching these goals.  Now, in the State of Kentucky, what it says is that the student has to be invited by 8th grade or age 14.

However, as the parent, and ‑‑ you know, speaking with your student, talking to that young adult, young child and getting them involved in their IEP, having conversations about what the IEP is, why is there a team?  Why are we having meetings?  Is only go to ensure that this student will become an amazing self‑advocate as they get older and more involved with their own IEP and their future goals.

>>RHONDA:  Well, and starting them at a very young age.  It doesn’t mean they have to come for ‑‑ their whole meeting.  It could be starting and taking those steps.  They come in and say Hi to everybody.  The next time, they come in, and they may show something that they’re really proud that they have been working on.  Hmm ‑‑ so it’s building that relationship and ‑‑ that ‑‑ from as early of an age as possible to help them with the self‑advocacy skills that Amber is talking about.

You know ‑‑ I’m a firm believer and it’s never too late or too early.  So say the child is older and they have not been involved, and again, we know they have to at least be invited at a certain age, but you know ‑‑ having them understand and feel comfortable with, even if they are older and need to take it in small steps.  It will only help to build on that.

And because ‑‑ you know, our children, they grow up to adults and ‑‑ these are the things and these relationship and these skills that they are going to need throughout their life.  It’s never too early or too late to start.  I’m a firm believer.
>>AMBER:  Oh, one hundred percent.  And you know ‑‑ in inviting the child in 8th grade or 14, whatever comes first, that’s working on transition goals.  I’m a firm believer, as Rhonda, what we do to assist our children from a young age is going to be working towards that transition, right?  We are always preparing them.

Each year as they get older, hmm ‑‑ to being ‑‑ an adult.  And having ‑‑ hmm ‑‑ knowledge and experience and being prepared to be an adult.

So taking those small steps, getting your child engaged in their IEP, in their team, being a part of these meetings is going to be extremely beneficial as they approach adulthood.

There’s a lot of perspective to be gained from having the child actually present in the IEP meeting and participating.  In fact, when a consideration of the IEP meeting will be the child’s postsecondary goals and transitions services needed to reach those goals.  And the child does not attend, IDEA requires that the public agency take other steps to ensure that his or her preferences and interests are considered.

These provisions are found at 300.321.  And read as:  Transition services participants in accordance with the paragraph of this section, the public agency must invite a child with a disability to attend the child’s IEP team meeting if a purpose of the meeting will be the consideration of the postsecondary goals for the child and transition services needed to assist that child in reaching these goals.

Number two, if the child does not attend the IEP team meeting, the public agency must take other steps to ensure that the child’s preference and interests are considered.

Transition ‑‑
>>RHONDA:  And Amber ‑‑ so sorry.  I know we are getting close on time here.  And I want us to be ‑‑ huh ‑‑ very mindful of your time you have allotted here.  We have a few other things here that we are going to share.

One of them ‑‑ hmm ‑‑ you know, making sure that everyone knows about consent.  You know ‑‑ for ‑‑ especially when you are talking about transitions, if there is an agency that provides transition services, that ‑‑ it’s going to be the school district, you will have the provide consent for them to be invited and involved.

And I think here on the next slide too, one of the things that ‑‑ that is important ‑‑ hmm ‑‑ is you know ‑‑ you have to give the consent.  And ‑‑ I’ll give a perfect example.  Is like ‑‑ OVR, Office of Vocational Rehabilitation or provider of their services may be one of them that would be very helpful in being involved.

So and it would be important to have them there because they will be critical in the transition services.

But again, there does have to be consent.  Now, something to point out here is that ‑‑ when our children reach the age of 18, hmm ‑‑ that is the age of majority, and ‑‑ the rights transfer from the parent to the student.  So the student, if they are 18 would have to provide the consent that ‑‑ hmm ‑‑ that the agency could be involved in part of the IEP meeting.

This is another one, I think, this is really important.  Hmm ‑‑ that especially when ‑‑ and Amber, I know you spoke about earlier.  About the Part C, which is the early intervention system, birth to 3, which is in Kentucky is called first steps.  When a child is transitioning from first steps to the school system at age 3, it’s going to be really critical ‑‑ hmm ‑‑ that ‑‑ the representative of a Part C, which is first steps be involved so that there is that smooth transition.

And there’s specific requirements under IDEA of their involvement in the transition to the school system, which is the part B for the IEP.  And they are very critical in helping and ‑‑ that consistency with services and supports.  And so many times, people don’t realize that there are those requirements, but they are very helpful.  So that ‑‑ because we know the more consistent we are and there’s not gaps in services, just to ensure that our children are successful.
>>AMBER:  I’m so glad you spoke about that Rhonda.  I was actually waiting for you to tell your little joke about how the AB and C was not in the order in which you like.



Yes.  So ‑‑ total side note and I can’t believe I have not told you yet on here.  I’m OCD to the Max and it drives me crazy when they wrote the law that they did not ask me.  What Amber is talking about.  I think it’s our little B ones, part BC should be the older ones and no one asked me and they didn’t go in chronological order with the age.  So ‑‑
>>AMBER:  I had to throw that out there, Rhonda.
>>RHONDA:  Right.

So ‑‑ you know ‑‑ again, the most important person, the child, the parent, or educational representative that is serving in the parental role, or the guardian, the regular education teachers, Special Education teacher, the district representative, a person who can interpret the evaluation results, any person with special knowledge or expertise, it could be ‑‑ it could be a professional within different fields or it could be a family member it could be a friend.

Many of us, as families, we are experts, as an individual with a disability, we are an expert for ourself.  As an immediate family member, we are an expert on our children and youth.  And so having people that ‑‑ have that extensive knowledge is going to be critical in our child’s success and developing the best program possible.  And then agency representatives that may be responsible for providing services are going to be critical to include.
>>AMBER:  And ‑‑ I ‑‑
>>RHONDA:  I know that ‑‑ go ahead.
>>AMBER:  I want to throw something in quickly.  Going back to the child.  Is that please, please be open and ‑‑ please advocate for your child.  For the other IEP team members to be open to hearing what that child has to say.

My child even at 10 years old, he ‑‑ he will say things I would never think about that his teachers and his other helpers would never think about.  Please give your child a voice to remind us that sometimes it’s very simplistic things that they need that we just overlook.

>>RHONDA:  I’m glad you said that.  Even if they are not physically there, which we hope there, that still doesn’t mean they can’t give great input.  Working with the parent and what’s important to them.  The Special Education teacher working with the child.  You know on things to bring to the table.  Hmm ‑‑ that are important to them.

So making sure their voice is heard.  It’s going to be critical.  We can have the best laid plans but again, if it’s not what they want or need, it’s not going to help anyone.  And so we are going to ‑‑ I know that ‑‑ we are at time.  And I want to thank you all so much.  There is the evaluation link in the chat.

If you all could take a moment and fill that out, we greatly appreciate your input.  Once you have completed that, you will receive a certificate of attendance for today by email.  Please let us know if we could help you.  Sign up for the E news by clicking on the handout.  We hope you could join us for the other sessions.  Does anyone have any questions?

[Pausing for response.]

>>RHONDA:  I’m not seeing any here under the questions tab or in the chat.

But please let us know.  You know, if you have questions.

After this is over, we are here.  And we hope you will be able to join us next week.  So we appreciate you so much.

>>AMBER:  Have a wonderful day.
>>RHONDA:  Y’all have a great day.

[End of Webinar.]