This session will showcase a grant-funded collaborative project between the Eugene 4J School District Community Transition and Connections Program and the Eugene-based research and development company Cognitopia, in which secondary transition students with mild to moderate cognitive disabilities are using prototype web based self-management applications to manage their IEP goals, do their own ongoing progress assessments, and use that information to direct their own IEP meetings. Empowering students to be actively involved in the development of their IEPs and transition goals goes hand in hand with the concept of self-determination, an essential premise of the IDEA (2004). When a student actively participates in the development of their transition programming, they are more likely to develop self-determination skills. This student-directed approach also reflects the IDEA mandate that appropriate measurable postsecondary goals be based on transition assessments – an “ongoing process” of student-generated data on strengths, needs, preferences, interests, accommodations, and goal progress. Students can use this information to make decisions, share with adult services, and pursue customized employment experiences. This session will include an overview of the project approach and demonstration of the software applications students are using. Twelve students over the past year have successfully taken a leadership role in directing their own IEP and transition planning meetings. We will present findings from the involved teachers, parents, and students that illustrate how the value and tenor of the IEP process has been improved from the perspective of all three of these stakeholder groups.

Restoring Focus on the Child: CADRE’s Seventh National Symposium