IEP Components - Barriers to Full Participation in the IEP Process: A Literature Review By Olga M. Torguet

This issue of NASET’s IEP Component series was written by Olga M. Torguet from Florida International University. Her article focuses on the barriers to full participation in the IEP Process. To advocate for their children and make informed educational decisions, parents must be able to understand the information presented at Individualized Education Program (IEP) meetings. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) of 1997 legally mandated that students 14 and older be invited to participate in IEP meetings. As a means to better understand parents’ and students’ passive participation during these meetings, I analyzed current literature related to barriers that inhibit their full participation in the IEP process. Two studies were identified related to the readability of Procedural Safeguard documents provided by states department of education. Eight published articles were dissected to identify the reasons for the inactive involvement of parents and students. Overall arguments that emerged repeatedly across all articles concerned the inability to advocate due to the high readability level of parents’ rights documents, jargon utilized in meetings, and lack of understanding of system procedures and policies.

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