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, either in school or at home.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.