The National Landscape of Team Practices for Infants and Young Children with Disabilities under IDEA

Overview

The purpose of this project was to conduct a national assessment of the status of interdisciplinary team practices for infants and young children with disabilities in Part C and Part B, Section 619 programs under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The participants, program coordinators from all 50 states and outlying jurisdictions, were contacted by email and invited to participate in an anonymous online survey. The survey was comprised of 11 fixed response questions and 8 open-ended questions which were based on recommendations for team practices made in DEC Recommended Practices, A Comprehensive Guide for Practical Application in Early Intervention/Early Childhood Special Education (Sandall, Hemmeter, Smith, & McLean, 2005). All questions addressed policies and procedures concerning team practices, training, and monitoring.

Briefly, the majority of respondents reported they have written policies and procedures concerning team practices, however, they did not have written policies about how teams function or make decisions, nor do they monitor team practices. Teaming was rated as important (a rating of 4 or 5 out of a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being most important) for evaluation of eligibility determination, assessment for IFSP/IEP planning and development, and progress monitoring by the majority of coordinators responding. Training in team decision making and team functioning had not been developed in most states or territories in the past year, nor was it reported as mandatory for service coordinators or service providers. Overall, states and territories reported service providers were implementing existing teaming policies effectively.

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