Technology and Legal Issues in Education - PDF by apv12851

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									Assistive Technology:
Legal Issues that influence decision making



Overview

Objective
To develop a training packet of professional development materials that will enable AT
Network participants to deliver an introduction to Assistive Technology (AT) legal
issues.

Goals
The goal is to help Ohio educators and families learn how using assistive technology
can support students with disabilities in achieving higher levels of access and
participation in the educational setting.

Introduction to AT Professional Development Materials
The materials in this packet are intended to support a one-half to one-hour presentation.
      •   Legal Issues in AT PowerPoint
      •   Script for the AT Legal Issues PowerPoint

Note: To provide a consistent state-wide message to the AT Legal Issues, presenters
are encouraged to maintain the format and procedures included. However, it can be
expected that modifications will be necessary depending on the audience.

Legal Issues in AT PowerPoint and Script
The script that is provided with the PowerPoint offers suggested presentation delivery.
Presenters should familiarize themselves with the PPT and it’s content prior to
presentation.
Legal Issues in AT
PowerPoint and Script


Assistive Technology: Legal Issues that Influence Decision-Making

Slide 2:
The legal mandates of IDEA have significant ramifications for the inclusion of assistive
technology devices and services. In this presentation, you will review these IDEA
mandates with a discussion of the application for Assistive Technology.

Slide 3:
First we must look at the definition of assistive technology devices that is included within
IDEA. The range and types of devices are not specifically listed, but the definition
encompasses any device that will increase, maintain, or improve the functional
capabilities of a child with a disability.
 The exclusionary statement for medical devices that are surgically implanted was
added to the IDEA definition in the 2004 revisions.

Slide 4:
The IDEA definition continues to define services related to the selection, acquisition or
use of assistive technology devices specific to an individual child.

Slide 5:
These services include:

•(click) The evaluation of the needs of a child with a disability, including a functional
evaluation of the student in the student's customary environment.

•(click) Purchasing, leasing, or otherwise providing for the acquisition of assistive
technology devices for students with disabilities.

•(click) Selecting, designing, fitting, customizing, adapting, and applying use of assistive
technology equipment.

•(click) Training or technical assistance for a student with a disability or, if appropriate,
that student’s family.

•(click) Training or technical assistance for professionals (including individuals providing
education or rehabilitation services), employers, or other individuals who provide
services to, employ, or are otherwise substantially involved in the major life functions of
that student.
•(click) Coordinating and using other therapies, interventions, or services with assistive
technology devices, such as those associated with existing education and rehabilitation
plans and programs.
•
AND
•(click) Maintaining, repairing, or replacing assistive technology.



Slide 6:
With this definition of assistive technology devices and services in mind, let’s review the
basic mandates of IDEA and consider the school district responsibilities. IDEA
mandates that all children with disabilities are entitled to FAPE, or a free and
appropriate public education.


Slide 7:
It is the responsibility of the IEP team to determine what constitutes a “free and
appropriate” education. This must be done on a case by case basis for each child and
included in the student’s Individualized Education Plan. Within the development of the
child’s IEP, the team must also consider any needs for assistive technology.

The District must ensure that a student with a disability receives the assistive
technology devices and services, which are necessary for FAPE. The student’s IEP
team determines the relationship that must exist is between the educational needs and
the device or service.

“Free” as related to assistive technology means that the devices and services, if
deemed appropriate, must be provided at no cost to the parents.

Slide 8:
What is “appropriate” has been the discussion of debate and litigation surrounding
IDEA. In relation to assistive technology, it means an appropriate device or service the
child needs to benefit from his/her educational program, an appropriate assessment of
needs related to assistive technology, and appropriate training for school personnel and
parents on the use of the equipment.

Slide 9:
IDEA states that educating students with disabilities should occur in the regular
education classroom whenever possible, or if not possible, in a setting that provides the
greatest interaction with the student’s non-disabled peers.

Slide 10:
The burden is on the school district to prove that the regular education environment is
not beneficial to the student.

The school district must also determine if the support of assistive technologies will
enable the student to remain in the regular education environment. The implications are
that there needs to be district wide awareness of the types of assistive technology
devices available and how these might benefit a student in the classroom.


Slide 11:
IDEA further mandates supplementary aids and services that may be needed by a
student. The definition of supplementary aids and services includes devices that
enhance a child’s ability to benefit from educational programming, as well as devices
that allow the student to be physically present in the classroom. Assistive technology
devices and services may therefore included as supplementary services and aids.

Slide 12:
All personnel working with the student should be trained on the implementation of the
assistive technology in the classroom. In order for the device to be effectively used,
these significant people must be familiar with the device and ways that it will enable the
student to benefit from his/her educational program.

Slide 13:
The evaluation team must be knowledgeable about the specific area of disability and
the technology devices and services that may enable the student to benefit from his/her
educational program. If the school district does not employ personnel who can properly
evaluate the assistive technology needs of the student, it is their responsibility to obtain
these services.

Likewise, a parent’s right to seek an independent educational evaluation includes an
assessment that will enable an IEP team to determine a student’s needs for assistive
technology. The right to an independent educational evaluation extends to situations
where the school neglects to evaluate the student for assistive technology needs, as
well as instances where the parent disagrees with the school’s evaluation in that area.


Slide 14:
The evaluation team must be knowledgeable about the specific area of disability and
the technology devices and services that may enable the student to benefit from his/her
educational program. If the school district does not employ personnel who can properly
evaluate the assistive technology needs of the student, it is their responsibility to obtain
these services.
Likewise, a parent’s right to seek an independent educational evaluation includes an
assessment that will enable an IEP team to determine a student’s needs for assistive
technology. The right to an independent educational evaluation extends to situations
where the school neglects to evaluate the student for assistive technology needs, as
well as instances where the parent disagrees with the school’s evaluation in that area.

Slide 15:
IDEA mandates that the IEP must include the goals for the student, the services the
student will receive, and how and where the student will receive these services. The
IEP team must consider and determine modifications or assistive technologies that are
needed for the student to achieve these goals.
Slide 16:
Assistive technology may be included in the IEP either as part of the student’s goals
and objectives, a related service, or as a supplementary aid or service. The basic
criterion is that the student needs the assistive technology to benefit from special
education and this must be documented in the IEP.

Slide 17:
An awareness of these IDEA mandates is only the first step in determining whether or
not a student “needs” assistive technology.

Slide 18:
School district personnel must be prepared to respond to difficult questions about the
need, type, and effectiveness of a variety of assistive technologies to insure that all of
their students receive a free and appropriate public education.

								
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