The purpose of this document is to help define and increase the capacity of understanding about specially designed instruction as it relates to students with disabilities in Indiana. This document serves as guidance for IEP teams, administrators, educators and practitioners as they determine the need for, plan, and implement Specially Designed Instruction (SDI) for students with disabilities who require an Individualized Education Program (IEP).

Download 'Specially Designed Instruction - Spread the Word' (pdf)

The Specially Designed Instruction (SDI) Checklist (8.20.2018) can be used to evaluate the development of SDI. Review each component of the checklist to ensure SDI follows guidance regarding the purpose, development, how it provides instruction, and resulting factors.

The Goal Checklist (8.20.2018) can be used to evaluate the goal writing process.  Review each component of the checklist to ensure goals have a direct relationship with present levels and services and to test measurability.

IIEP Update to Goals Page:

“Needs” text box has been renamed to “Specially Designed Instruction”

The purpose for this field is to offer a place for teachers and committee members (including parents) to identify in general terms the instruction this student needs in order to make progress academically and, if needed, functionally.

In general Specially Designed Instruction (SDI) is adapting content, methods, or instructional delivery to address the unique needs of a student. (Article 7: 7-32-88)

A “compliant” Specially Designed Instruction (SDI) response would describe the instruction provided to a student through special education. In other words, “What does this student need to learn that special education can provide?”

  • If a student with a disability is functioning below his or her peers in any academic or functional area, SDI is the instruction applied to address those deficit areas.
  • SDI is what makes special education “special.”
  • It is instruction intended to close the academic performance gap between an individual student with disabilities and his general education peers.

The Annual Goal then measures the effectiveness of this specialized instruction.