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Funding - Assistive Technology

What is the responsibility of a school district when parents elect to purchase a needed device on their own and the family-owned device is written into the IEP?


Federal law is silent on this issue. However, it is reasonable to expect a school district to assume liability for an assistive technology device that is family-owned, but used to implement a student's IEP in school.

Is the school liable for family owned assistive technology devices used at school to implement the student's IEP?


While the IDEA does not specify the responsibility of the school in such cases, state law could potentially impose liability on the school depending on the facts of the situation.

Are school districts responsible for customization, maintenance, repair, and replacement of assistive technology devices?


Assistive technology services such as customization, maintenance, repair, and replacement are included considerations in the acquisition of equipment or devices purchased/provided by the school district.

Should assistive technology devices be insured?


It is the school district's decision to carry insurance. School district insurance policies may cover an assistive technology device purchased by the district for student use or may offer additional coverage that includes assistive technology devices.

What is important to know about a warranty?


The school should check the length of the warranty and find out exactly what is covered and, equally important, what is not covered. One-year warranties are common. Extended warranties and service contracts will probably be available.

What provisions could be made for the student while an assistive technology device is being repaired?


During the development of the IEP, the IEP Team should identify the steps to be taken if the device needs repairs; how a substitute device will be provided; and other temporary options that would offer an acceptable substitute to the student's device.

If an assistive technology device is lost or damaged beyond repair, who replaces the device?


If an assistive technology device is necessary for the student's IEP to be implemented, the school district will have to replace a broken device. If the device is broken at home through negligence, the parents could be held responsible for the repair costs.

What are the responsibilities of the student, educators and parents in the maintenance and repair of assistive technology devices and reporting broken devices?


It is the joint responsibility of the parent, student, and school personnel to take reasonable care of assistive technology devices. The IEP should identify methods for reporting problems and completing repairs prior to using the assistive technology device.

Is a school district responsible for retaining, repairing, or replacing assistive technology devices?


If purchased or secured by the school district, then the school district should retain, repair, or replace assistive technology devices, as long as the students require them in order to receive FAPE.

Can schools require students to bring a family-owned assistive technology device to school?


No. There is no barrier to a student bringing his or her assistive technology device from home to school, but school districts have no authority to mandate that this occur.


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Printed from the Iowa Department of Education website on July 26, 2016 at 4:19am.