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Advocacy Resources Bridges Blog Educational Resources Employment Resources Independent Living Resources Series: Life After IEPs series, May 2021

Life After IEPs Series: When Do Things Change, and Why?

The first in a four-part series.

Once high school ends, so do IEPs, this month, the Free Bridges Helpdesk Transition Tip Tuesdays explores post-secondary, IEP-free life. Topics discussed include:

Part 1: When Do Things Change, and Why?

Part 2: Changes in Rights to Instructional Services

Part 3: Changes in Rights to Accessible Equipment

Part 4: Changes in Rights to Accommodations and Modifications

In this first installment of the series, we examine when and why students are no longer eligible for IEPs.

When do I stop having an IEP?

Most IEPs for blind/low vision students end because the student graduates from high school or “ages out” at age 21, in Maryland.

Why do IEPs stop?

IEPs (individualized education plans) are required by a law known as the IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act). The IDEA provides educational rights for students with disabilities in public school through high school graduation or age 21, whichever comes first. Thus, high school graduation or “aging out” ends a student’s eligibility for an IEP, even if the disability still exists, and even if the student still has educational needs.

What’s next?

There are other laws that protect individuals with disabilities, including blind and low vision. These laws, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), protect individuals of all ages, but IEPs often provide similar and additional protections. Once the IEP is no longer in effect, blind/low vision students still have Section 504 and ADA protections.

Next week, we’ll explore how rights to instructional services change under Section 504 and the ADA.

Contact us

Follow the Bridges Helpdesk Facebook page for more transition tips, and please contact the Free Helpdesk for Maryland Blind/Low Vision Transition Students, Families, and Educators anytime using:

This unique project is being coordinated through The IMAGE Center of Maryland, a center for independent living in Towson, and it is funded by a grant from the Maryland Department of Education Division of Special Education/Early Intervention Services.

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