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IEPs - What You Should Know

What an IEP is and how does it affect transportation of a special education student.


An IEP is a legal document that establishes for each student with disabilities an Individualized Education Program (IEP). This written plan is mandated under P.L.101-476 (Part B). Since transportation is a related service to assist the student in accessing the educational plan it is imperative that school transportation personnel be consulted. It is in the best interest of the student for special education and transportation personnel to maintain open communication when determining the safest and most practical form of transportation for that student. Many school districts include a representative from transportation on the IEP Team. It may expedite the process to develop a transportation checklist (see attachment below).


Medically fragile students or students with complex disabilities require extensive team planning. These students may be riding in wheelchairs or require adaptive equipment while being transported. Most IEP Teams will confer with the student's physical or occupational therapist for specialized seating and handling procedures although many parents have requested input from their child's pediatrician. This medical advice and counsel is appropriate when preparing an effective plan that guarantees coordinated services for the student. Pediatricians are also in a crucial position to screen, identify and refer children who would benefit from early intervention programs within their community.