We are almost at the end of Disability Awareness Month (October). So, we would like to talk about a key legal right of special needs children in school, the Individual Education Plan, or IEP.

Does your special needs student (birth to 22 years old) have an IEP?

What is an IEP?

Here is an article that gives an overview of what an IEP involves. It also explains how to obtain an IEP from a school district.


In the 1980’s, the Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund (DREDF) lawyers assisted us in supporting our Carla’s IEPs. This meant Carla could mainstream into a traditional Kindergarten. Fortunately, both the teachers and administrators were helpful and encouraging.

As Carla progressed through her schooling, it was clear that her learning disabilities were being addressed. We could see she was learning to read and write. She also had access to speech therapy for which the Oakland Children’s Hospital was a resource to help guide the teaching staff. Then, during junior high school and high school, Carla focused on life skills. When she graduated from high school in 1993, Carla was selected to represent her special needs schoolmates as one of the speakers at her graduation. Next she continued on to Contra Costa Community College where she focused on the culinary arts.

Carla’s IEP fostered inclusion and life skills to prepare her to live independently in Napa for 14 years. And so, she paid her $400 a month rent and went to work every day. Both the Napa Regional Center and Community Connections Supported Living Services supported her Individual Service Plan, a program similar to an IEP.

Individual Education Plan (IEP)

How Audiobooks Support IEPs & Personalized Learning

“Audiobooks are for everyone. But for students with mental, physical, behavioral and emotional disabilities, audiobooks engage them in new and essential ways.”

For more detail, read the case study done by Rakuten Over Drive Education.


Let us know if this information was helpful, or if you have any comments or questions. In the future, we will bring you other tips and information to increase Awareness, Advocacy, and Action for special needs children.