Assistive Technology and Your Child’s Individualized Education Plan
Content provided by: United Cerebral Palsy of Greater Indiana
When looking for Assistive Technology for your child make sure your Individualized Education Plan (IEP) considers the following:
- If covered by Medicaid, apply there first.
- If another entity (Medicaid, insurance, etc.) pays a portion of the cost of the device, it belongs to the student.
- If the IEP determines that the child needs to take the device home, then the school must permit this- even if the school is the purchaser.
- Make sure the evaluation is appropriate and complete- performed by trained personnel.
- Make sure that teachers and other personnel who assist the child are trained on the sue of the device.
- Identifying the party(ies) responsible for payment of insurance coverage should be included in the IEP.
- A good trail period for testing the appropriateness of the devices is a minimum of two weeks.
- Remember, any assistive technology loan is not a grant – it must be paid back (often at a very low interest rate.)
- If computer services/hardware/software are provided to non-disabled students, the cost of similar equipment/devices must be made available to special education students as part of the general education budget.
- If there is a conflict with the school about the purchase of assistive technology, attempt to resolve the differences before resorting to due process. It’s advisable to bring a trained advocate (another parent, a professional who knows the child etc.) instead of a lawyer to the mediation (unless you know that the school’s attorney will be present.)
Develop a funding strategy by:
- Research technology and other funding options for all components
- Gather documentation of family income
- Identify people who can help you with the funding process (parents support groups, relatives, etc.)
- Keep a written record of all AT-related information in one place.
Use language pertinent to the funding source:
- Medical (Medicaid, insurance, etc.) stress therapeutic nature” of the need and “medical necessarily” for the device
- Educational – stress “academic achievement” and “educational goals”
- Vocational – stress “self-sufficiency” goals and potential