Date Published: Nov 8, 2017


Teacher Education Division of the Council for Exceptional Children
Tracy Gershwin Mueller and Anna Moriarity Vick

There is limited research about effective Individualized Education Program (IEP) meeting practices that promote family–professional collaboration. One emerging practice, the Facilitated IEP (FIEP) meeting, has recently gained national attention for its team-based approach. In this study, the authors interview 32 FIEP participants about their experiences with the process. Findings reveal five meeting procedures that encourage active team planning, collaboration, and problem solving between families and professionals, including premeeting with families, establishing and following a meeting agenda, using meeting norms, utilizing a parking lot for offtopic
issues, and visual charting for graphic support during team discussion and problem solving. In this article, the authors present the implications of these procedural practices as a promising structure for IEP meetings that can be used by professionals to collaborate and involve families throughout the IEP meeting process. Implications for future research are also discussed.