Screenshot of OSEP's Model Form for the IEPA reference sheet for Parent Centers from the
Center for Parent Information and Resources (CPIR)
June 2017

This reference list is designed to accompany
CPIR’s Brief for Parent Centers on Free Appropriate Public Education and the Dear Colleague Letter on FAPE issued by OSEP on November 16, 2015. You can use the reference list in staff or board training, to refresh or deepen your understanding of what key terms in IDEA mean, and to find easy-to-read summaries about these terms on CPIR’s site in English and Spanish.

The online version of the reference list presents one term or acronym at a time. This page focuses on the acronym IEP and what it means.  (Note: To print out or share the ENTIRE reference list as one Word or PDF file, use the links at the very top of this page.)



Acronym stands for… | Individualized Education Program

Importance of IEP to FAPE | As OSEP’s Dear Colleague Letter on FAPE states, “Under the IDEA, the primary vehicle for providing FAPE is through an appropriately developed IEP that is based on the individual needs of the child.”

Defined in IDEA at | 34 CFR §300.22, as follows:

Individualized education program or IEP means a written statement for a child with a disability that is developed, reviewed, and revised in accordance with §§300.320 through 300.324.

Unofficial Definition of IEP in Spanish

For IDEA’s full description of IEP | See our separate page in this reference list, Defining and Understanding the Individualized Education Program, for how IDEA describes what an “Individualized Education Program” must contain and how it’s developed, reviewed, and revised.

For more information about the IEP | CPIR offers a suite of information about the IEP, including a short overview and much more detailed summaries of what the IEP must contain, who develops it, and what happens at typical IEP meetings. The IEP suite begins at:

English |
Spanish |

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Which term or acronym would you like to explore?

Just click any of the links below to jump there immediately.

FAPE   |   IDEA  |   IEP   |   LRE

Child with a disability

Individualized Education Program

Related services

Special education

Supplementary aids and services

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