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For the process to be successful the preparation before the meeting is very important. The process is explained to students individually and examples of past MAPS are shared. Also the parents were sent information about the process and given the option of a regular IEP meeting or a MAPS one.  The number of people invited depends on whom the student and their family wish to share the experience with.

In a MAP people giving input have been invited by the individual not the school and these people know the student intimately. Family and friends are important because they will provide continuity and support throughout the student's life. MAPS is just not talk it is action also, because it gives the students a clear direction of steps needed to move towards their dreams and avoid the nightmare. Forest & Pearpoint view it as a group, problem solving, collaborative team approach to planning and state ideally the team will create a plan of action which will provide a common vision for all team members.

MAPS are facilitated by two people putting into practice the philosophy of its developers “together we’re better” One of the co-facilitators acts as the MAP recorder, making a public record, using graphics, on a large sheet of paper. Public recording is a critical part of the process as it acknowledges everyone’s participation - each person gets a mark on the paper. The recorder does not have to be an artist. That is the point point. However, it is vital that they use the participants own words and makes sure everyone gets included in the recording of the process.

In facilitating the process it is important for the facilitator to listen to the desires and goals of the individual and build on what the student says. To help the student focus on his or strengths and abilities, and assist in the process of drawing out from the group how these can contribute to making the student's dream a reality. Any barriers which the group defines should be considered and ways to remove these discussed.This process gives the student an active role in determining their class curriculum and ownership over their life's journey. 

For more information and resources go to Inclusion Press

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