Date of Award

Summer 7-31-2021

Document Type

Project (696 or 796 registration)

Degree Name

Master of Science in Special Education


Graduate Studies

Committee Chair

Jed Locquiao


IEP Implementation Fidelity, Specific Learning Disabilities, Learning Disabilities, Interventions


The use of an Individualized Education Program (IEP) for a student with a disability is mandated under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act 2004 and is used to determine the educational needs of that child. IDEA defines an IEP as a “written statement for each child with a disability that is developed, reviewed, and revised in accordance with section 1414(d) of this title” (2004). This also ensures that students receiving these services through the IEP must have them available in their least restrictive environment. The least restrictive environment according to IDEA states that “To the maximum extent appropriate, children with disabilities, including children in public or private institutions or other care facilities, are educated with children who are not disabled, and special classes, separate schooling, or other removal of children with disabilities from the regular educational environment occurs only when the nature or severity of the disability of a child is such that education in regular classes with the use of supplementary aids and services cannot be achieved satisfactorily“ (2004). With these federal law requirements for students to be serviced in the LRE, this often occurs at least partially in the general education classroom. The classroom teacher is included as a member of the IEP team and is asked to participate in the development of this IEP. This purpose of this inclusion is to support the creation of strategies, necessary aids, and services, as well as program modifications and support of personnel (John, 2002).

Because of this, implementation fidelity is necessary for the success of the IEP. Implementation fidelity describes the extent that the components of an IEP are followed, as mandated by IDEA. If a general education teacher is being tasked to support the IEP goals and objectives, they need to be aware of how to do so, to ensure that they are implementing them to the degree of fidelity included in the IEP. Without this fidelity in place, students on IEPs will not be receiving the services necessary for them to be successful. For general education teachers to be able to support students in this way, they need to have been given the training and resources to know how to support their growth.

This project will focus on implementation fidelity of IEPs for students with reading disabilities. The project includes a literature review component. This component will begin with a broad understanding of what the current reality of learning disabilities is. It also discusses the current issues with identification of learning disabilities. It then goes on to be made up of research on how IEP goals are being implemented within schools, the issues related to identification and implementation of goals. In addition to the research on IEPs within the school, it will focus on the factors that contribute to the gap between the research being done on the topic and the actual implementation within schools. Finally, it describes what is currently being done within schools to bridge the gap between the research and current practices in classrooms.

In addition to the literature review component, a handbook component will also be included. The purpose of the handbook will include specific IEP goals related to the support of students with reading disabilities. These goals will be taken from real students within a current setting to ensure relevance to the study. Included with each goal, there will be research-based, relevant interventions that could be implemented in support of each of them. The purpose of this handbook is to allow for the success of general educators in supporting the goals of the IEP of students. The interventions will all be included in easy-to-understand explanations and simple to implement options. The reality that this project is based on is the current issues faced within school districts in implementation of IEP goals and objectives by general education teachers. The system for who and how to implement said goals is unclear and has often led to a failure in the mandated supports to be provided.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.