8. What are the timelines for purchasing and/or providing assistive technology devices and services?
IDEA regulations do not specify a timeline for the provision of assistive technology. However, if AT is determined necessary for a FAPE then it must be provided in a timely manner. “Timely manner” is defined as, “at the same time typically developing peers receive their similar materials.” The school district may not delay or deny the provision of AT due to funding issues if a child requires AT to benefit from the IEP.
9. Are personal use devices excluded?
The IEP team decides on a case by case basis what AT a student needs to benefit from special education and related services. With the exception of cochlear implants or other surgically implanted devices, if a device is included in the IEP, the school is responsible for the provision of that device or ensuring that it is provided at no cost to the parents.
10. Who is responsible for buying assistive technology?
The school system is responsible for acquisition and provision of AT devices. Sometimes, parents may choose to purchase devices and send them to school with the student. Schools may use various funding sources to provide needed AT devices with parental consent, including but not limited to the following:
- Medicaid Early, Periodic, Screening, Diagnostic, and Treatment
- Medicaid Home and Community Based Waiver
- Medicaid In Home Support Waiver Medicaid Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act (TEFRA)
- Private Insurance
- Department of Rehabilitation Services
- Financial Loan Programs
- Private/Community Resources
11. Who owns the assistive technology device?
It depends on who purchased the device. If the school purchased the device, the school maintains ownership. If the parents’ private insurance purchased the device, then it belongs to the student. If Medicaid purchased the device, then Medicaid maintains ownership. A family or other entity (for example, Department of Rehabilitation Services) may enter into an agreement with the purchaser and buy the device(s) at a depreciated amount. A sample agreement form and device depreciation spreadsheet are included in the appendix.