The concept of individualized education is discussed in relation to Public Law 94-142 (P.L. 94-142), the Education for all Handicapped Children Act passed by Congress in 1975. This law provides for individualized educational programs (IEP) for students and emphasizes that the development of an IEP should include a statement of the present levels of educational performance of the child based on appropriate assessment procedures. This paper emphasizes the importance of planning communication individualized education programs (CIEP) for all deaf students if they are to achieve their communication and academic potentials.
The rationale for CIEP planning for deaf students is explained and demonstrated in terms of the great variation in potential and achieved student expressive and receptive communication skill levels. Communication assessment instruments appropriate for deaf students at both the secondary and postsecondary levels are recommended. These recommendations are based on data from assessments performed with more than 1,000 entering students at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID)1 at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) and a field test of 420 secondary-level students at two residential schools for the deaf.
Finally, strategies for developing CIEPs for students are discussed in terms of a team approach and application of communication assessment and other communication-related information. A sample CIEP is developed for a deaf secondary-level student to demonstrate the efficacy of this approach to communication program planning.