Research has shown that implementing some form of student led IEP meeting leads to positive outcomes and increased skills regarding self-knowledge, self-determination, and self-advocacy (Konrad & Test, 2004; Mason et al., 2002). Whether teachers provide explicit instruction regarding the IEP process and writing portions of the document or allow students to develop their skills more implicitly, students benefit from an increased awareness of their disabilities and the various parts of the IEP process. This can lead to a sense of empowerment that assists these students with improving their future outcomes and becoming successful, productive citizens (Konrad & Test, 2004; Mason et al., 2002).
There are many ways to involve the student in the IEP meeting that can be teacher scripted or student developed. Students may run the entire meeting or lead during the presentation of the transition plan. One way of doing this is by starting the IEP meeting with a presentation by the student using the Maryland Transition Digital Portfolio.
The Maryland Transition Digital Portfolio provides a tool for students to use to be a meaningful participant in their IEP meeting. The Digital Portfolio would provide students with information to discuss regarding their own accomplishments in the areas of education, work, and life. The Maryland Transition Digital Portfolio allows students the ability to create, own and share a digital, strengths-based portfolio that promotes their plan toward college, career, and community readiness.
Carroll County, Worcester County and Garrett County
Mary Pat Dye, Carroll County
Exiting seniors use information from their Digital Portfolio to help facilitate their exit IEP meetings. The exiting seniors decide what information will be shared and how they will share the information at the IEP meeting.
Matt Elburn, Worchester County
Students in the 18-21 Post-Secondary Transition Program use information from entries in their portfolios to showcase their accomplishments. Each student uses their portfolio to facilitate their IEP meeting.
Denise Hartman, Garrett County
Eighth grade students use the Digital Portfolio at their Transition to High School meetings so they can present their student-centered plan to the IEP team. Information is projected using a SMART Board.
Questions to Consider
- How do you involve students in their IEP meetings?
- Are you using the Maryland Transition Digital Portfolio? If so, do you use it to help students prepare for their annual IEP meeting?
- Are students’ active members of their IEP teams?