Smarter Steps LLC

Columbia,  MO 
United States
  • Booth: 1450

Welcome to SMARTER STEPS! Visit IEP Goal Gurus: Kelly & Lara

S.M.A.R.T.E.R. Steps is a friendly place to visit to help you problem-solve IEP goals.  We offer a trusted method to create compliant goals that aim for optimal outcomes for students. Meet the Co-founders:

Kelly Ott, MEd, MHS, CCC-SLP:  With over 20 years experience in the education field, Kelly has served children with a diverse range of learning and communication needs. Kelly has worn many hats around the IEP table serving as Special Education Administrator, Principal, LEA, Regular Education teacher, and SLP. She has a rare perspective on the roles and demands of each team member. Kelly contracts with rural school districts in mid-Missouri.  

Lara Wakefield, MHS, PhD, CCC-SLP: Lara has over 20 years of experience as a Speech-Language Pathologist. She has dedicated the past 9 years to being a Parent Advocate in private practice in mid-Missouri. Lara support parents and schools in using collaborative methods to problem-solve disputes. Lara's training in legal advocacy gives professionals new insight on ways to communicate. 

Kelly and Lara present nationally to professionals, parents, and advocates on the SMARTER Steps method for IEP goals. 

Brands: Kelly Ott & Lara Wakefield create a video series called "Focus Point". Join in their discuss on research & the law at the SMARTER Steps Facebook page.

 Show Specials


  • Guide To Creating SMARTER IEP Goals
    The GUIDE TO CREATING SMARTER IEP GOALS is a user-friendly book that helps teams develop legally compliant goals. This is a trusted all-in-one Professional Development Plan for all members of the IEP team.

  • The Individualized Education Program process is familiar to any educator in special education, but the details of the system may not have been fully explored. IEPs allow for students with disabilities to receive a quality education and individualized learning. It is imperative for educators to follow the mandates outlined for IEPs.

    The GUIDE TO CREATING SMARTER IEP GOALS serves as a way to check the legal compliance of IEP goals and train educators to work toward this compliance. It outlines the thirteen federal mandates related to IEP goals and presents information and research in a simple, easy-to-understand format. Appendices are included to help test readers on their new knowledge with a quiz, worksheet, reflection page, and additional resources.

    Authors Kelly Ott, MEd, MHS, CCC-SLP, and Lara Wakefield, PhD, CCC-SLP, focus on how important it is not only for educators to have this information but for administrators as well. Too much time and energy is lost in miscommunications between the two different groups. When you add in concerned parents, the focus may shift away from the students and lead to personality clashes. With a solid foundation for IEPs and a thorough understanding of the mandates, these conflicts can be avoided.

    You can preview the Book and other SMARTER Steps products here: