TELECONFERENCE TRAINING SERIES ON AT AND SPECIAL EDUCATION
SESSION II: SPECIAL EDUCATION AND AT–CUTTING EDGE ISSUES
ATTAC of NAPAS
Washington, DC (202) 408-9514
Ronald M. Hager
National AT Advocacy Project
a project of Neighborhood Legal Services, Inc. · Buffalo, New York · (716) 847-0650
(1) Added definitions
(2) Legislative history emphasizes use for LRE
(1) Must consider for all students
(2) Added to new regulations--§ 308
(3) Practical considerations
(a) Lifetime/annual cap
(b) Waiver cap
(c) Frequency of approval
(d) Copayments and deductibles–school can pay
(1) Private insurance
(a) Must obtain informed consent with each use
(b) Must include potential consequences of use in notice
(a) Not required to get consent prior to each use
(b) Cannot require parents to sign up for Medicaid
(c) If parents refuse to authorize use, school must still provide services
(1) If services can be performed by someone other than a physician, they are not an excluded medical service
(2) Service must need to be performed during the school day to enable the student to remain in school
1. The district has the authority to determine which educational methods will be used to meet a student’s education needs, and courts and hearing officers will generally defer to the district’s decisions.
2. However, there are times when the method is an integral part of a student’s program and thus must be a part of his/er IEP.
B. There is no legal prohibition against including instructional methodologies in the IEP.
C. 1997 Amendments
The ability of the IEP team to designate a particular methodology in the IEP became somewhat clearer.
1. "Special education" is "specially designed instruction" and specially designed instruction includes adapting the "methodology or delivery of instruction." (34 CFR 300.26).
2. The comments to the March 1999 regulations note that including day to day teaching approaches or lesson plans in IEP’s would be overly prescriptive, (F.R. p. 12552, 3/12/99) but also note that: "...[T]here are circumstances in which the particular teaching methodology that will be used is an integral part of what is
"individualized" about a student’s education and, in those circumstances will need to be discussed at the IEP meeting and incorporated into the student’s IEP..."
C. Parental preference, in and of itself, is not sufficient to dictate educational methodlogy.
D. Special Factors
The 1999 regulations also specify several situations where methodology must be considered.
1. IEP teams must consider the need for braille for blind and visually impaired students and the appropriate mode of communication (e.g. American Sign Language) for deaf students and students who are hard of hearing. In these cases, the method to be used must be included in the student’s IEP. This requirement includes the training of family members in this method of communication when it is necessary for the student to receive FAPE. 34 CFR 300. 346(a)(2)
E. A child's IEP must address his or her involvement in the general curriculum, including the impact of special factors. Appendix A, 34 CFR 300
1. For example, if the IEP team determines that in order for a child who is deaf to participate in the general curriculum he or she needs sign language and materials which reflect his or her language development, those needs (relating to the child's participation in the general curriculum) must be addressed in the child's IEP.
2. AT needs are a special factor 34 CFR 300. 346(a)(2)