The idea 504 the ada and assistive technology
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The IDEA, 504, the ADA and Assistive Technology. Assistive technology device:.

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Assistive technology device:

Any item, piece of equipment, or product system, whether acquired commercially or off the shelf, modified or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of a child with a disability.

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AT Service

  • Any service that directly assists a child a child with a disability in the selection, acquisition, or use of an assistive technology device.

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AT services include:

  • Evaluating AT needs of student, including functional evaluation in student’s customary environment;

  • purchasing, leasing or otherwise providing for acquisition of AT devices;

  • selecting, designing, fitting, customizing, adapting, applying, maintaining, repairing, or replacing AT devices;

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AT services include;

  • Coordinating and using other therapies, interventions, or services with AT devices such as those associated with education and rehabilitation plans and programs;

  • training or TA for student or, where appropriate, the family;

  • training or TA for professionals (educators, rehabilitation personnel, employers and others).

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Under the IDEA AT can be:

  • Special education: specially designed instruction to meet student’s needs.

  • related services: services student needs to benefit from special education.

  • supplementary aids or services: aids or services provided in regular education classes or other education-related settings to enable the student to be educated with students without disabilities.

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large print books

adapted spoons

auditory FM trainer

closed circuit TV

head pointers

Electronic notetakers

cassette recorders

word prediction software

adapted keyboards

voice recognition and synthesis software

Examples of assistive technology

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IDEA: AT does not include:

  • Medical device that is surgically implanted or replacement of the device;

  • School not responsible for post-surgery maintenance, programming or replacement; but

  • School must ensure that external components are functioning properly.

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Hearing Aids

  • School must ensure hearing aids worn in school are functioning properly.

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IDEA: how to get AT

  • School Assessment: IEP team must assess the student’s functional capabilities and whether they may be increased, maintained, or improved through the use of AT devices or services. [OSEP Letter to Fisher, 23 IDELR 565 (1995)]

  • Independent assessment.

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Individualized Educational Program

  • AT is a special factor, this means the IEP team must specifically consider whether the student requires AT devices and services.

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IEP team must approve AT device or service if:

  • It is needed to ensure reasonable educational progress in the least restrictive setting.

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IEP must include:

  • the special education and related services and supplementary aids and services.

  • Projected date when services begin and the frequency, location, and duration of services.

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Special Issues

  • Home use OK if IEP team determines the AT is needed at home for FAPE.

  • Ownership: AT is school property, but school may transfer ownership to student.

  • Damage: school can’t charge for normal wear and tear.

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Section 504

  • No otherwise qualified individual with a disability in the United States …shall, solely by reason of his or her disability, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance...

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Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act

  • Prohibits discrimination by public entities.

  • Public entities are State or local government and any department, agency, special purpose district, or other instrumentality of a State or local government.

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ADA Title III Public Accommodations

  • Covers places of education and elementary and secondary private schools, day care programs.

  • Nondiscrimination

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504/ADA Disability

A person has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity.

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An appropriate education means providing special education and the related services the student needs to benefit from the special education program. Services developed and provided through IEP.

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IDEA Disability

  • Child has an impairment (such as mental retardation, hearing impairments, speech and language impairments, visual impairments, serious emotional disturbance, orthopedic impairments, autism, TBI, OHI, or specific learning disabilities), AND

  • because of having an impairment the child needs special education and related services.

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Appropriate public education under 504/ADA

Means meeting the individual needs of students with disabilities as adequately as the needs of students without disabilities are met.

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504/ADA Requires

  • Providing general or special education and related aids and services that are designed to meet the individual educational needs of students with disabilities as adequately as the needs of students without disabilities are met.

  • Means providing accommodations and auxiliary aids and services.

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504/ADA and LRE

  • Students with disabilities receive services, to maximum extent appropriate, with students without disabilities.

  • Includes nonacademic and extracurricular activities like meals, recess, counseling services, transportation, health services, athletics, recreational activities, clubs or special interest groups.

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Eligibility means having a condition requires special education/related services.

FAPE: providing special education and related services.


Requires having a condition that substantially limits a major life function.

Meeting needs as adequately as needs of students w/o disabilities are met.

504 Plan documents accommodations and services.

General education responsibility.

IDEA vs. 504/ADA

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Qualified interpreters education/related services.


transcription services

taped texts


videotext displays

television enlargers

talking calculators

Electronic readers

Braille calculators, printers, type writers

telephone hand set amplifiers

closed captioned decoders

open and closed captioning

Auxiliary aids and services

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Voice synthesizers education/related services.

specialized gym equipment

calculators or keyboards with enlarged buttons

reaching devices for library use

Raised line drawing kits

assistive listening devices

assistive listening systems


More Auxiliary aids and services

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Modify recess, PE education/related services.

Provide inhalant therapy assistance

Administer medication, as prescribed

Develop health care and emergency plan

Provide rest periods

Remove allergens

Asthma substantially limits breathing

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Accommodate absences for doctor’s appointments education/related services.

Modified PE

Assistance carrying books

Provide modified eating utensils

Notetaker, taped texts, lectures

Assistive technology for writing: computer, pencil grip

Supply extra set of books for home use

Bathroom accommodations, locate class near rest room.

Arthritis pain limits performing manual tasks

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Provide assistive technology education/related services.

Physical therapy

Assist with carrying books or lunch trays

Arrange for use of ramps, elevators

Relocate classes

Extra time between classes

Physical disability that limits walking, fine motor skills

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Monitor/distribute medications as prescribed education/related services.

Train staff and children and prepare emergency plan

Provide rest time and academic considerations following seizures.

Provide plan to makeup work do the student can catch up with peers.

Epilepsy: student has periodic seizures limit learning

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Appeal Procedures education/related services.

  • Mediation

  • Due Process Hearing

  • CDE Complaint Process

  • Office for Civil Rights Complaint

  • Court (usually must exhaust administrative procedures first)