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IEP Discussion Guide

Access the Language and Communication Focused IEP Discussion Guide (PDF)

The Individual Education Program (IEP) that is written for a student who is deaf, deafblind or hard of hearing should include considerations for students’ access to language, mode of communication at home and at school, language development and fluency abilities, communication partners, school placement and other environmental impacts on language and communication needs. When these considerations are not a primary focus of the document, the power behind the IEP is not fully realized and appropriate services are not provided. The problem has been that weak direction within an IEP has led to weak services for students.

Who this impacts

  • Students who are deaf, deafblind & hard of hearing
  • Parents and families of the students
  • Teachers of the students


The key components of an appropriate and effective Individualized Educational Program (IEP) is the integration of language and communication impact statements into the academic standards and the instructional delivery system. The following components are vital to the IEP process: presenting a clear picture of the student's fluency in language compared to his/her peers, the mode of communication used by the student both at home and school, the optimal instructional language system, and the optimal social language system. A team of parents and professionals worked collaboratively to develop the “Language and Communication Focused IEPs for Learners who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing: A Discussion Guide”. This guide will assist IEP teams to develop a plan that fits the needs of their individual learner. The guide includes a list of guiding questions and evidence-based resources to meet the legal mandates of I.D.E.A., ADA/504 and Title II.

You can read and use the guide today! Language and Communication Focused IEP Discussion Guide (PDF)

Who was involved?

The members of the 2015-2016 Collaborative Plan worked on the guide. The members were:

  • Mandy Frederickson – Metro Deaf School
  • Carla Larson – Duluth Public Schools
  • Emily Manson – St. Paul Public Schools
  • Ann Mayes- Intermediate School District 917
  • Nanette McDevitt - Psychologist– Greater Minnesota Launchpad
  • Susan Meredith – Minneapolis Public Schools
  • Jody Olson –Minnesota State Academies
  • Anna Paulson – Minnesota Commission of the Deaf, DeafBlind & Hard of Hearing
  • Susan Rose – University of Minnesota
  • Mark Schwartz – Minnesota State Academies
  • Valerie Shirley – Eden Prairie Public Schools
  • Jody Waldo – Intermediate School District 916
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