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

Find Support

Connect with other parents about Assistive Technology.

Visit the My Child Without Limits support community and talk to parents, caregivers, and professionals about their experiences.

Resources:

Looking for more information on Assistive Technology and Individualized Service Plans?

Assistive Technology Industry Association (ATIA)
(877) 687-2842 (877) 687-2842
www.atia.org

Alliance for Technology Access
(707) 778-3011 (707) 778-3011
www.ataccess.org

National Assistive Technology Technical Assistance Partnership (NATTAP)
(703) 524-6686 (703) 524-6686
www.resnaprojects.org/nattap/#content

DisabilityInfo.gov (AT resources)
www.disability.gov/technology