Past NCAPPS Webinars

Student-Directed Individualized Education Plan (IEP): Bringing Person-Centered Practices to Schools and Beyond

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

The Individualized Education Program (IEP) is a cornerstone in planning and delivery of educational supports for students who are eligible for special education services. How can systems ensure that the IEP is truly person-centered? Ensuring that the student is directing and leading development and implementation of their IEP is a first step as the student develops their strengths and receives appropriate support. In this webinar, a panel of students, parents, educational consultant, and disability rights advocate will discuss strategies to make IEP meetings and implementation authentically person-centered and empowering for students and their families.

Meet the presenters


My name is Sara and I’m twenty-one years old. I have athetoid Cerebral Palsy. Athetoid Cerebral Palsy is a movement disorder caused by damage to the developing brain. This type of Cerebral Palsy is described by an unusual, unwilling movement. This inability to control muscle tone is what causes Cerebral Palsy symptoms. I am graduating from Cotting School this year. I love art and hope to study graphic design.

Elizabeth Bostic

Elizabeth (Beth) Bostic is the proud parent and humble servant of King James, a 20-year-old medically complex young man. She is a seasoned Special Education Advocate who is highly respected by parents, school administrators and other stakeholders across Massachusetts. She is a Board Member of the Federation for Children with Special Needs, LEND Adjunct Faculty at UMASS Medical, an Executive MBA candidate at Suffolk University, Charting the Life Course Ambassador and member of the Special Needs Advocacy Network.

Emily Berheide

Emily Berheide, OTR/L, M.Ed. is a Talent Discovery Specialist and Transition Consultant. She is passionate about helping youth discover their unique areas of talent and recognize their true potential! Emily works with a diverse population of youth in middle school, high school and transition programs. Her work focuses on engaging teachers and students in identifying students’ areas of intelligence and natural aptitudes and connecting those with work opportunities. Emily provides professional development trainings for schools, organizations and family groups on topics such as The Power of Having a Vision, Student-Directed IEP meetings, Discovering Talents and Supported Decision-Making.

Mary Abby

Mary Abby is a graduate student at the University of Massachusetts Boston studying to become a teacher of students with visual impairments. Her passion lies in pursuing equality, equity and diversity within the classroom. During her undergraduate time at Rhode Island College, she was the president of the Advocacy and Beyond Club, a student-run organization whose goal was to promote diversity and inclusion throughout the community. She is currently working as an assistive technology coordinator at In-Sight.

Lynn Waskelis

Lynn Waskelis is mother to Maggie; who attends Perkins School for the Blind, and who will transition from school to adult services in 2022. Maggie communicates using Augmentative and Alternative Communication, or AAC. She currently uses Touchchat on an iPad. Building from Perkins’ person-centered approach to the transition IEPs; Lynn has supported Maggie, and worked with her team to move toward a Maggie-driven IEP and transition to adult life.