DLAC Special Education Advocacy IEP Implementation is New Area of Work for FY 2014
Beginning October 1, DLAC will offer individual advocacy assistance to help families ensure correct implementation of their student's IEP. The decision follows overwhelming input from across the state from parents, service providers and other stakeholders, expressing the need for this type of advocacy in schools.
"It is imperative that Individualized Education Plans (IEP) are correctly implemented in order for our clients to be safe and successful in the learning environment," states Lisa Primm, DLAC's Executive Director. "The IEP is a tool which sets the stage for both current educational opportunities and future employment success. For TN students with disabilities the IEP is a crucial part of learning, and this year DLAC has chosen to make this one of our agency priorities."
Among the issues DLAC will be addressing as part of this objective are ensuring:
- Supports and services are in place as listed on IEP
- Timely implementation after development
- Advancement toward student's IEP goals
DLAC will work with partner agencies to fill gaps and increase capacity for those clients who have an IEP in place but have concerns regarding the implementation of that plan. "It is our desire to address this problem for individual clients while also identifying and addressing systemic issues in specific school systems," adds Primm.
DLAC IEP Implementation Flyer
Additional changes in special education services include helping families receive appropriate Functional Behavior Assessments (FBA) and Behavior Intervention Plans (BIP). The scope of these cases will be broader than those currently opened to address restraint & isolation. This shift represents a proactive approach to attempt to prevent situations from escalating to the level where restraint & isolation may be used by the schools.
As a result of this shift, DLAC will not be providing direct individual advocacy to resolve bullying in schools or transition planning, though information and referral will still be provided during the intake process. Transition to life after high school is an area on which DLAC will be working alongside community partners to address systemically.
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