Empowering Families in the IEP Process

GiGi’s Playhouse prides itself on serving the entire family. One way we can do this is through our Family Speaker Series, where we bring in experts to share information and have open dialogue on various topics.

At the beginning of the school year we hosted an event called “Learning to be Empowered throughout Your IEP Process”.

According to the Wisconsin Department of Education, an IEP (Individualized Education Program) is a written statement for a student with a disability that is developed, reviewed, and revised by a team of people, including the student’s family, that outlines an educational plan for the student.

We brough in the following group of seasoned special education professionals to learn about how to be an empowered advocate during the evaluation and IEP process.

Meet the experts:

Tracy Gibbons: Tracy has 20 years of experience with being a special education teacher and case manager at the elementary and high school levels in both public and private schools. She also has an emphasis with behaviors, social justice and inequity.

Mary Jo Lehmann: Mary Jo supports families through the special education process for their child in her role as a Special Education Program Support Teacher with the Madison Metropolitan School District. Educating and empowering families is a primary focus and passion of hers as a partner and advocate for the needs of children. Mary Jo has worked as a special education teacher for over 20 years in Wisconsin and Minnesota and her areas of licensure include special education, elementary education, and reading specialist.

Fred Swanson: Fred was a high school Special Education teacher working with students aged 17-21 in an off-campus transition to community program. He did this in Eau Claire, Las Vegas, Janesville and Madison for 34 years.

He has many novel and out of the box ideas to make IEP meetings more efficient and meaningful for all involved. Fred is also a current member of our Board of Directors.

We recorded the entire presentation for you. The presentation and recordings can all be viewed via this link.

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