Assistive Technology Implementation
When your child needs assistive technology (AT) devices or services to actively participate in the curriculum, the ARD Committee defines the use of AT devices, AT services and other strategies that promote your child’s achievement. The AT details become part of individualized education program (IEP) for the student. The plan for the implementation of the AT device or services should be collaboratively developed, meaning you as the parent should provide some input. Parents should also share in the responsibility of implementing the use of the device or service.
Home Use & Family Owned Devices Used at School
The ARD Committee is responsible for determining if the school-owned AT must be made available to the child at home in order for the student to receive FAPE.
An example of when the ARD Committee might determine that AT is needed in the student’s home is when the device is needed in order for the student to complete homework assignments. In some cases parents may be held liable for damages to or loss of a district-owned device if this happens due to the parent’s negligence. Also, in Texas, the school district board of trustees has the right to require payment of a security deposit. If parents are unable to pay the fee, it must be waived.
There may be situations in which a family-owned AT device is used at school. Make sure to document who should be responsible for upkeep and maintenance of the device. The district assumes liability when a family-owned device is part of the student’s IEP. Yet, family-owned devices that are not documented in the IEP are not the responsibility of the school district.
When the need for Assistive Technology is important for your child to receive educational benefit, the ARD committee may need to create a plan for addressing situations that arise when the AT device or service is not available due torepairs or maintenance. By documenting what will occur when a device doesn’t work or requires repairs, your child will be able to continue actively participating in educational activities that increase their functional performance and academic achievement without unnecessary delays.
Transfer of Devices
In Texas, AT devices may be transferred to a student’s new campus or new district, to a state agency that is providing services to the student after graduation, to the student, or to the parents of the student (if the parents have guardianship) for continued use by the student through the sale, lease, or loan of the device. Transfer of the device isnot mandatory. If the district that owns the AT device agrees to the transfer, there must be a written transfer agreement between the district and the student or the parent (with guardianship). If the transfer is a sale, both parties must enter into a uniform transfer agreement.