An analysis of the individualized education programs for students with deafblindness
Donelson, Mary Dell
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Federal law ensures school students in special education programs a Free Appropriate Public Education (FARE). The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Amendments of 1997 continues and refines the requirements which were first established in 1975 with the Education for All Handicapped Children Act, Public Law 94-142. Students' written Individualized Education Programs (IEP) are considered to be the heart of the law and the core entitlement of their FARE. The literature clearly reports the unique needs of students with deafblindness that should be reflected in their LEPs. When students' vision and hearing are both impaired, their educational programming needs to include such interventions as alternative access to information, communication skills that may differ from those of students with just vision impairments or auditory impairments, and incentives to explore and to be involved in their environment. The purpose of this investigation was to analyze the IEPs for students with deafblindness to determine whether this link in students' FAPE is in place The IF'Ps for students with deafblindness were compared to those of students with no reported vision or hearing loss. Analyses were conducted using one-way Anova and Paired Samples t test calculations in the areas of compliance as well as substantive components such as the numbers of recommended goals and objectives in specific areas The results of this study indicated no significant differences between the two groups in areas of compliance Both groups of students had IEPs that had significant deficiencies in complying with the requirements of the IDEA 1997 Amendments. There were some differences, however, between groups in the numbers of a few types of goals and/or objectives recommended, and frequency counts revealed some trends in service delivery recommendations between groups.