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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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!
Ask the Expert
The IEP Vision Statement