The Arc of Tennessee

Project Name: Self-Directed IEPs

Contact Information:
Carrie Hobbs Guiden
(615) 248-5878
151 Athens Way Ste 100
0235 W. 300 N.
Nashville, TN 37228-1367

Project Goals

  • An increase in the student’s career awareness;
  • An increase in interagency collaboration;
  • An increase in parental involvement;
  • An increase in self-determination abilities;
  • An increase in self-advocacy abilities; and
  • An increase in inclusion in general education classes.

Project Description

The Arc of Tennessee is providing self-directed IEP training to students, educators, and families who are involved in the secondary transition planning process. Typically developing peers are also trained to help co-facilitate meetings with students who need additional support.

The purpose of the project is to teach students how to do their own IEP meetings and to teach parents, educators, and typically developing peers (where appropriate) on how to support them in this process. Self-directed IEPs are not common practice in Tennessee and will provide educators with a new tool that will help improve secondary transition outcomes for students receiving special education services.

The project is implemented in three high schools across the three regions of Tennessee: Benton County High School (west Tennessee); Warren County High School (middle Tennessee); and a high school in East Tennessee to be determined at a later date. The project began in west Tennessee the first year and is expanding to middle Tennessee the second year and to east Tennessee the third year with follow up continuing at the other schools throughout the duration.