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What is an IEP and What Does IEP Stand For | TeachTastic

Updated: May 20, 2022


What does IEP stand for?

IEP is one of the special education acronyms for Individualized Education Plan or Program (IEP). The IEP is a plan for Students with disabilities' academic success. Each public school child who receives special education and related services must have an Individualized Education Program (IEP). Each IEP must be designed for one student and must be a truly individualized document.


You may be wondering what an IEP is and how it can benefit your child. An IEP, or Individualized Education Program, is a plan developed by a team of educators, parents, and other professionals to meet the unique needs of a student with disabilities. The benefits of having an IEP include customized instruction and support based on the student's individual needs, yearly review and revision of the IEP as needed, and access to special education services and accommodations. If you think your child may have a qualifying disability and benefit from an IEP, you can request one from your child's school district. A team of professionals will then conduct an evaluation to determine if the student is eligible for special education services.

Other information you might find helpful

A Guide to the Individualized Education Program

What is an IEP?

IEP stands for Individualized Education Program. An IEP is federally mandated by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and is a legally binding document that is created for children with disabilities that receive special education services.


IEPs are designed to make sure that children with disabilities have access to a Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE). This means that they are entitled to receive an education in the least restrictive environment similar to what their nondisabled peers are receiving. The process of creating an IEP is called a "plan of evaluation."

Qualifying areas of an IEP

In order to be eligible for an Individualized Education Program (IEP), a student must first be evaluated and found to have a disability that affects their ability to learn. There are 13 eligibility categories for an IEP, which are listed below.


Autism: A developmental disability that significantly impacts social interaction and communication skills.


Deaf-Blindness: A combination of hearing and vision impairments that make it difficult to communicate and learn.


Deafness: A hearing impairment that makes it difficult to understand spoken language.


Emotional Disturbance: A condition that affects a student's ability to learns as a result of anxiety, depression, or other behavioral issues.