Ability Advocates

IEP Vision Statement

When a child receives special education services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), 
he or she must have an Individualized Education Program (IEP). This is a written document listing, among 
other things, the special educational services that the child will receive. The IEP is developed by a team that 
includes the child's parents and school staff.

The vision statement is a key section of the IEP 
(Individualized Educational Program).

This is where YOU, the parent, can express your 
hopes and dreams for your child's future. Your 
vision should guide the Team throughout the 
entire IEP development process, and result in 
the creation of a program that will bring your 
child closer to that vision in a meaningful way. 
This includes the planning of your child's 
schedule at school and choice of classes, as well
as the planning of supports and services for 
access to academic and non-academic activities.

Why should I write a vision statement?

Without a vision you can end up in a place that 
you don't recognize or a place that was not part 
of what you planned for your child!

Your child's vision could be written by 
professionals who have an understanding of the 
disability characteristics but do not have a full 
understanding of how the disability affects your 
child. If the vision is written only by professionals 
it may not match your expectations for your 
child's future.

Does my vision have to be realistic?

Dare to dream! The important piece about vision 
is that it is a description that draws a picture of 
what your child's desired out¬comes will be for 
the future. Children, teens and young adults will 
discover their passions, interests, and 
preferences along the way. School is a time of 
self-discovery for all children, with and without 
disabilities. Remember that your family's vision 
should not be viewed as binding. Your vision can 
change and mature over time just as your child's 
interests will change and mature.

How should vision statements change as 
my child gets older?

When your child is only 3 or 4 years old, you 
may be just learning about the disability. Think 
about what you would like to see your child being
able to do five years from now. At this age, your 
child needs to be building important skills in the 
areas of communication and social/emotional 
development.

As your child enters elementary

school, your vision may include a desire for your 
child to gain the skills needed to be successful in 
academic and social environments. If your child 
is provided with the supports to gain knowledge 
of facts and figures, and to successfully 
communicate with peers, she will be well on her 
way to a full and meaningful life after school.

As your child prepares to enter middle 
school, you may want to take some time to 
summarize your journey thus far. Ask your child 
and yourself, "What have we learned about your 
learning style, talents, and interests?" Does your 
child under¬stand how his disability impacts 
learning or assessments?

Would middle school be a time to explore that 
further?

Upon reaching high school, the vision focus 
should largely be planned and voiced by your 
student. All students entering high school begin 
to think about their future and what it will look 
like. Your child may ask herself: Where will I live?
Will I attend college? Where will I work? Who will 
help support me? What kind of community 
memberships and/or activities will I participate 
in? What will I do for fun? Your child is beginning 
to identify his passions, interests, learning style 
and preferences based on life experiences. In 
high school, your child's success will depend on 
his/her ability to explain these to teachers, 
friends and future employers.

The page numbers are used to help keep some order for you not the form.

IEP page 1

Student Strengths and Key Evaluation Results 
Summary. This is a great opportunity to share your 
child's interests, preferences and personal 
accomplishments.

IEP page 1

Vision Statement is designed by you and or your 
child. It is a description of what the desired outcome 
for the future can hold. It is written with high 
expectations with the hope of fruition.

IEP page 2

Present Levels of Education Performance A: General 
Curriculum: Think of how your child is accessing the 
general education curriculum and how the general 
curriculum can support the designed vision outcome. 
Share accommodations that can be used in a variety 
of settings.

IEP page 3

Present Levels of Education Performance B: Other 
Educational Needs: Check all considerations that 
could support the vision outcome. Be sure to look at 
extra curricular activities, nonacademic activities, 
behavior needs, travel training or other related 
services.

IEP page 4

Current Performance Levels/Measurable Annual 
Goals: Think about the skills your child needs to build 
in order to achieve the goals set in their vision and 
how your child could be supported through the 
measurable goals in the least restrictive environment.

IEP page 5

Service Delivery: Make sure the service delivery 
page reflects the support services and personnel 
expertise that is imperative for a positive vision 
outcome for your child.

IEP page 6

Schedule Modification: Does your child's vision 
outcome require a shorter school day, longer day, 
shorter school year or longer year?

IEP page 7

State or District-Wide Assessment: How will your child
take standardized tests including NCLB? Your child 
can take NCLB three ways: without accommodations,
with accommodations or through a portfolio of your 
child's best work.

IEP page 8

Additional Information: Any part of the vision outcome
that was not supported in another part of the IEP 
document can be added here, for example: assistive 
technology, common planning time, communication 
log, etc...

Can I change my vision?

Yes. Visions are living, breathing statements that 
take on many forms throughout the years. The 
important thing is to create a meaningful vision with 
high expectations for success!

 Source

Ask the Expert
The IEP Vision Statement
Julie Sinclair