- Oklahoma Equipment Exchange
- DME Reuse
- Special Education Resolution Center
Local Education Agency (LEA)
Oklahoma State Department of Education (OSDE)
Since 1975, the federal government has mandated a Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) for children with disabilities, including those children whose disabilities are multiple and severe. Oklahoma’s public schools are responsible for ensuring that each student, regardless of disability, receives an appropriate educational program that meets his or her individual needs. The Special Education Services Division of the Oklahoma State Department of Education exists to help local school systems provide special education and related services so that all students with disabilities can develop into productive and successful citizens. Under federal special education law and state rules, students with disabilities who require AT devices or services in order to receive a FAPE are eligible for those devices and/ or services as specialized in the student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP). The Special Education Services Division provides technical assistance to local school systems concerning the provision of AT devices and services to students with disabilities, primarily through the Oklahoma Assistive Technology Center (OATC).
Special Ed Services Division
Oklahoma State Dept. of Ed.
2500 N Lincoln Blvd, Rm 411
Oklahoma City, OK
(405) 521-4862 (TDD)
FAX: (405) 522-3503
Sharon House, Executive
Oklahoma Parents Center, Inc.
700 N Hinckley
P. O. 512
Holdenville, OK 74848
(877) 553-4332 (V/TDD)
FAX: (405) 379-0022
Oklahoma ABLE Tech
OSU Seretean Wellness Center
1514 W Hall of Fame
Stillwater, OK 74078-2026
FAX: (405) 744-2487
Jo Anne Pool-Blades
Special Education Resolution Center (SERC)
4825 S Peoria, Ste 2
Tulsa, OK 74105
Oklahoma Assistive Technology Ctr (OATC)
University of Oklahoma
Health Sciences Center
1600 N Phillips
Oklahoma City, OK 73104
(405) 271-1705 (TDD)
FAX: (405) 271-1707
Oklahoma Assistive Technology Center (OATC)
University of Oklahoma - Tulsa
Dept. of Rehabilitation Sciences - College of Allied Health
4502 E 41st St
Tulsa, OK 74135
FAX: (918) 660-3297
• See “eligbility”
• Includes children with disabilities, ages 3-21.
• For students who are not currently receiving special education services, a multidisciplinary team including the parents/guardians will meet to determine if a referral for special education service is appropriate. If the team suspects the student to have a disability, the team implements the following sequence of events to determine if Special Education Services are required and to evaluate if the child would benefit from special education. The process includes:
• evaluation and eligibility determination;
• program planning (development of an IEP);
• implementation of the IEP; and
• review of student progress and the IEP at least annually.
• As part of an initial evaluation, a group of qualified professionals and the parent/guardian shall review existing evaluation data and/or new evaluation data.
• If the team determines the student would need AT to receive FAPE, the team will address a comprehensive evaluation to determine what type AT devices and/or services are needed. The evaluation may include an assessment of the student’s functioning in several areas: cognitive, academic, auditory, vision, speech/language, and motor skills, and must consider AT needs and identify appropriate devices and/or services.
• If the student is determined ineligible for Special Education Services, AT may be accessed through the provisions of the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. See Appendix A for more information on obtaining AT through ADA or Section 504.
AT SERVICES PROVIDED/COVERED
• Information & Referral
• Training for Consumer & Family
• Assessments & Evaluations
• Supporting Software
• Locating Alternate Funding
• Maintenance & Repairs
• Fabrication of Devices
• Advocacy/Other (devices required by IEP)
AT DEVICES PROVIDED/COVERED
Adapted Toys & Games
Aids for Daily Living
Aids for Hearing Impaired
Aids for Vision Impaired
Recreation & Leisure Devices
Wheelchairs & Mobility Aids
• Parents or educators of students with disabilities who have suspected AT needs should inquire regarding referral for evaluation of these needs by the local school system. (See information under “eligibility” for a description of the evaluation process)
• If the child is determined eligible, an Individualized Education Program (IEP) is developed.
1. Parents may contact the Oklahoma Parents Center for information on federal and state laws that guarantee a child’s right to a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) and parental rights and responsibilities.
2. Formal complaints should be filed with the Local Educational Agency (LEA) or the Oklahoma State Department of Education (OSDE). Complaints to the LEA should be addressed to the superintendent or administrator of the school district. Complaints to the OSDE should be addressed to the superintendent or administrator of the school district. Complaint Forms can be downloaded from the website: http://sde/state/ok/us/Curriculum/SpecEd/Forms.html./ (Request to File a Complaint with the Oklahoma State Department of Education)
3. Assistance regarding complaints can also be provided through:
Special Education Services Division
OK State Department of Education
2500 N Lincoln Blvd., Rm 411
Oklahoma City, OK 73105-4599
Complaints must be written and include:
• how the LEA has violated a requirement under Part B of IDEA;
• the basic facts which lead to the belief that the law has been violated;
• the complaint must allege a violation that occurred not more than one year prior to the date the complaint is received by the LEA or OSDE;
• complaints pertaining to a specific child with a disability that include the child’s name, date of birth, and current educational status; and
• the signature of person(s) filing the complaint.
4. Special Education Services encourage parties to resolve disputes at the earliest stage possible. Mediation regarding AT issues is available at any time a dispute arises. Neutral trained mediators are available at no cost to either party.
5. A parent or a school may initiate a due process hearing to resolve a dispute regarding the proposal or refusal to initiate or change the identification, evaluation or educational placement of a child or the provision of a FAPE to a child. A parent’s request for a due process hearing must be in writing, signed and addressed to the local school administrator and include: child’s name; date of birth; current grade or class placement; established or purported disability; and the reason for challenging identification, evaluation, placement, or appropriateness of the education for the child. A copy of the request must also be mailed to:
Attention: Due Process Hearings
Special Education Services
Oklahoma State Department of Education
2500 N Lincoln Blvd.
Oklahoma City, OK 73105-4599
6. The hearing officer’s decision will be final and binding unless a request is made to appeal the decision. Either the parent or the school may initiate an appeal of the hearing officer’s decision. Appeals must be initiated in writing to the State Department of Education, Special Education Services. Impartial appeals officers conduct the reviews.
PIECES OF THE PUZZLE
• It is the program planning process (the IEP) that is important in determining whether the school system is the appropriate entity to obtain AT for a child. If the IEP team determines that an assistive device and/or service is needed for the child to successfully meet the goals and objectives of the IEP, the school system MUST provide the individual with the specified AT device and/or service at no cost to the parents, as part of the student’s FAPE.
• The school system may provide the AT device or service by:
• using existing resources (equipment) that they already have;
• obtaining the needed device through equipment lending libraries;
• locating other sources of funding outside the school district, such as Medicaid;
• asking the parents if they want to obtain the device through their private insurance company, if coverage exists; or
• purchasing the device with district funds. Thus, once the need for AT is written into an IEP, the school district MUST ensure that the student obtains the specified AT device and/or service. If parents choose not to use their private insurance, school systems cannot require them to do so.
• Once the school has made a commitment to obtain the specific AT, the child should receive proper training and follow-up to insure that the child will benefit from using the device. In addition, the child’s parents, teachers, and support staff should receive training on how to use the device and how to maximize the child’s use of the device at school, at home, and in the community.
• Just because a parent wants a particular device for his/her child does not mean that the need for that device will be written into the IEP. Although the parent is a member of the IEP team, any and all decisions are TEAM decisions. The IEP team must decide whether a particular assistive technology is educationally necessary for the child. Team decisions can occasionally place the parent at odds with other team members. There is a process for resolving disputes if the parent feels that the IEP does not meet the needs of the child. (See “Appeals Procedures” above.)
• If the school district purchases an AT device, the device remains the property of the school system. On a case-by-case basis, the use of school-purchased AT devices in a child’s home or in other settings is required if the child’s IEP team determines that the child needs access to those devices in order to receive a FAPE.
• When developing transition service plans, be sure to address any AT issues. For example, if the school district has purchased the device, the device stays with that school system when the student graduates, leaves school or even moves to another district. However, a formal mechanism allows school districts to sell or transfer AT devices to parents, other state agencies, or other school districts. For more information, refer to the “Technical Assistance Document: Assistive Technology for Children and Youth with Disabilities.”
• The Assistive Technology Program for Oklahoma Public Schools is a collaborative program between the Oklahoma State Department of Education, Special Education Services and the Oklahoma Assistive Technology Center (OATC).
• OATC can assist public school personnel by providing information about the classroom use of AT in the following areas: positioning, access, environmental control, augmentative communication, assistive listening, visual aids, mobility, computer-based instruction, recreation/leisure and play, and activities of daily living.
• OATC staff may also assist school personnel with referrals to other appropriate service providers, agencies, vendors or manufacturers.
• OATC staff is also available to provide on-site consultation to schools, including visits to school sites to discuss issues related to AT devices and/or services with local school personnel. OATC staff will collaborate with local school personnel to assist in the assessment, recommendation, implementation, or follow-up phase of providing AT devices and/or services to students with disabilities.
• OATC is also available to provide, for a fee, comprehensive evaluation services. OATC staff will lead the evaluation process and collaborate with the student’s IEP team to:
• collect referral information;
• collect and analyze information about the student, the student’s educational environments and specific area(s) of concern or tasks in which the student is experiencing difficulties;
• assist in generating a potential AT solutions, including providing specific AT devices, software or other support for trial; and
• generate an assessment report with recommendations regarding AT devices and/or services and a systematic way to monitor student’s ongoing AT needs.
• OATC can assist in identifying potential funding sources for recommended devices.
• OATC provides school personnel opportunities for awareness and advanced level training through presentations at state and local education conferences and regional training courses. Additionally, school personnel may also arrange preview times in the OATC Computer Access or Augmentative Communication labs.
• School personnel have access to an assistive technology equipment loan program. Short-term loans are available for assessment, preview, and trial purposes. The AT Loan Program for Oklahoma Public
Schools has equipment available for loan to special educators, related service providers, and assistive technology team members who serve students in Oklahoma Public Schools. The devices and/or software are not intended to be used as dedicated equipment for individual students.
• The OATC is center of excellence within the Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, College of Allied Health, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. OATC’s primary service site is in Oklahoma City, with a satellite site in Tulsa. (See “contact” for OATC contact information.)
• IDEA requires that states and school districts provide accessible versions of instructional materials to students with disabilities in a timely manner, as an essential component of FAPE. ABLE Tech contracts with the State Department of Education to provide AT devices and services, please contact ABLE Tech for more information.
• Students may need the additional support of AT devices in order to access their instructional materials.
• School districts may borrow the needed AT devices from ABLE Tech for up to 6 weeks at no charge.
• The National Instructional Materials Accessibility Standard (NIMAS) is a uniform electronic format for textbooks and related materials from which accessible formats can easily be made.
• Accessible Instructional Materials (AIM) is for students with sensory, physical, cognitive and learning differences that have difficulty accessing printed materials.
• For more information on the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), see Appendix A.
• For more information on how to utilize AT, you may request a free copy of Assistive Technology for Children and Youth with Disabilities from Oklahoma ABLE Tech by calling (888) 885-5588.