Working Collaboratively to Support the Education of Students who are Deaf/Hard of Hearing in Florida

Established in 1978 by the Florida Legislature, the Resource Materials and Technology Center: Deaf/Hard of Hearing (RMTC-D/HH) is a statewide discretionary project of the Florida Department of Education, Bureau of Exceptional Education and Student Services (BEESS) and functions as a statewide specialized center within the Florida Diagnostic & Learning Resources System (FDLRS) network. The Center is located on the campus of the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind (FSDB). RMTC-D/HH serves as the coordinating unit for accessible materials including captioned and signed videos, professional development books, and other reference materials. In addition, RMTC-D/HH staff provide on-site training and technical assistance to all school districts, families, and other state and federal discretionary projects working with students who are deaf/hard of hearing. 

Services from RMTC-D/HH are provided by request and at no charge to the school, district, or organization.

Upcoming Events

  1. TA Live! Described and Captioned Media

    January 10, 2019 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
  2. Mailman Center Innovation & Connection Conference

    January 18, 2019 @ 8:30 am - 4:30 pm
  3. TA Live! Don’t teach, COACH! Self-Advocacy through a independent, problem solving approach.

    February 14, 2019 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

FAQs

Accommodations (2)

In 2013, the state issued a technical assistance paper on assistive technologies (which included hearing aids) that states, “When equipment is purchased with state education funds, district education funds, state special education funds or IDEA funds, the equipment becomes the property of the school and the school is responsible for maintenance, repair and insurance.” (Section E-1) You can find the Assistive Technology TAP here: https://info.fldoe.org/docushare/dsweb/Get/Document-6801/dps-2013-65.pdf.

If a student needs assistive technology (hearing aids, FM, etc.) and it’s on the IEP, then the district is responsible for the “maintenance, repair, and insurance” of that device. This could include routine checks (daily are required as per the Matrix of Services Handbook if they are counting the points for the device) and replacement when it isn’t functioning. If the device is functioning and the student is able to access the auditory information with the device, there is no hard and fast rule requiring replacement of older FM systems. The crux of the matter is going to be whether or not the student is receiving meaningful educational benefit from regular and/or specially designed instruction and related service(s) with the device(s) and the data being collected related thereto. If not, then the IEP team has to look at what devices are being used and determine what WILL give the student access, which in the case of older devices might mean replacement.

Professionals can check their district’s ESE Policies and Procedures Manual (SP&P) to see if the district has any information specific to amplification maintenance and/or replacement. You can find the SP&P for every district here: http://www.beessgsw.org/spp/institution/public . Once you’ve navigated to the site, choose the current year from the “Date Window” and then select your county from “District.” Some districts put specific information related to their programs in the SP&P while others just accept the DOE rule.

 

The information contained in the FAQs does not constitute legal advice. Please refer to the original sources listed in each FAQ for more information. 

Many school districts are unclear as to whether they are responsible for mapping (or programming) a student’s cochlear implant. Per Title 34, Sections 300.5 and 300.6, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), the definitions of assistive technology and related services do not include a medical device that is surgically implanted, or the replacement of such device. In accordance with Section 300.34(b)(1), CFR, related services do not include a medical device that is surgically implanted, the optimization of that device’s functioning (e.g., mapping), maintenance of that device, or the replacement of that device.

However, per Section 300.34(b)(2), CFR, the exclusion of the term does not limit the right of a child with a cochlear implant to receive related services that are determined by the IEP team to be necessary for the student nor does it prevent the routine checking of an external component of a surgically implanted device to make sure it is functioning properly as required in Section 300.113(b), CFR.” From: http://www.fldoe.org/core/fileparse.php/7571/urlt/0086201-y2007-5.pdf

Essentially, the question is:

How is the school district providing equal access to instruction for the provision of FAPE as required by IDEA and Title II of the ADA?

For example, if a battery goes dead during instruction time – does the school have a plan for how they are ensuring equal and timely access to instruction? This may mean that they have a backup battery just at school for this purpose, a CI sleeve that connects with an FM system, etc. If they do not have backups and plans in place – how can they prove they are providing timely and equal access to instruction?

 

The information contained in the FAQs does not constitute legal advice. Please refer to the original sources listed in each FAQ for more information. 

Assistive Technology (AT), Accessible Instructional Materials (AIM) (5)

According to the Department of Education Code of Federal Regulations, Section 300.113:

300.113 Routine checking of hearing aids and external components of surgically implanted medical devices.

(a) Hearing aids. Each public agency must ensure that hearing aids worn in school by children with hearing impairments, including deafness, are functioning properly.

(b) External components of surgically implanted medical devices.

(1) Subject to paragraph (b)(2) of this section, each public agency must ensure that the external components of surgically implanted medical devices are functioning properly.

(2) For a child with a surgically implanted medical device who is receiving special education and related services under this part, a public agency is not responsible for the post-surgical maintenance, programming, or replacement of the medical device.

This means that the district needs to have a system in place to ensure that each DHH student is receiving a listening/hearing aid/cochlear implant check at the beginning of each school day.

This is also outlined, as well as a lot of other valuable information in the FLDOE TAP (Technical Assistance Paper) on Meeting The Educational Needs of Students with Cochlear Implants and IDEA 2004:

http://www.fldoe.org/core/fileparse.php/7590/urlt/0070644-y2007-5.pdf

Here are some resources to facilitate Daily Hearing Aid/Cochlear Implant Checks in your district:

  1. Here is a great YouTube Video from NCHAM (National Center for Hearing Assessment and Management out of Utah State University) about how to perform a daily hearing aid check: http://youtu.be/Ytlh3CXh6Zs
  2. The Educational Audiology Association (EAA) sells an excellent Hearing Aid Checker Kit.Hearing Aid Checker Kits include:
    • Instruction card
    • Battery tester
    • Wax loop with brush and magnet
    • Stethoscope
    • Tubing air blowerPricing for non-members of EAA is $37.80 + $14 s/h.To order, contact Amy Caye at orders@edaud.org
      www.edaud.org
  3. Here is an example of a form you can use to track Daily Hearing Aid/Cochlear Implant Checks.
  4. The LING 6 Sound Test is a great way to check listening daily. You can learn about this and see an example of how to do it in the NCHAM video above, and here is a link to more information and resources.

In 2013, the state issued a technical assistance paper on assistive technologies (which included hearing aids) that states, “When equipment is purchased with state education funds, district education funds, state special education funds or IDEA funds, the equipment becomes the property of the school and the school is responsible for maintenance, repair and insurance.” (Section E-1) You can find the Assistive Technology TAP here: https://info.fldoe.org/docushare/dsweb/Get/Document-6801/dps-2013-65.pdf.

If a student needs assistive technology (hearing aids, FM, etc.) and it’s on the IEP, then the district is responsible for the “maintenance, repair, and insurance” of that device. This could include routine checks (daily are required as per the Matrix of Services Handbook if they are counting the points for the device) and replacement when it isn’t functioning. If the device is functioning and the student is able to access the auditory information with the device, there is no hard and fast rule requiring replacement of older FM systems. The crux of the matter is going to be whether or not the student is receiving meaningful educational benefit from regular and/or specially designed instruction and related service(s) with the device(s) and the data being collected related thereto. If not, then the IEP team has to look at what devices are being used and determine what WILL give the student access, which in the case of older devices might mean replacement.

Professionals can check their district’s ESE Policies and Procedures Manual (SP&P) to see if the district has any information specific to amplification maintenance and/or replacement. You can find the SP&P for every district here: http://www.beessgsw.org/spp/institution/public . Once you’ve navigated to the site, choose the current year from the “Date Window” and then select your county from “District.” Some districts put specific information related to their programs in the SP&P while others just accept the DOE rule.

 

The information contained in the FAQs does not constitute legal advice. Please refer to the original sources listed in each FAQ for more information. 

According to the Department of Education Code of Federal Regulations, Section 300.113:

300.113 Routine checking of hearing aids and external components of surgically implanted medical devices.

(a) Hearing aids. Each public agency must ensure that hearing aids worn in school by children with hearing impairments, including deafness, are functioning properly.

(b) External components of surgically implanted medical devices.

(1) Subject to paragraph (b)(2) of this section, each public agency must ensure that the external components of surgically implanted medical devices are functioning properly.

(2) For a child with a surgically implanted medical device who is receiving special education and related services under this part, a public agency is not responsible for the post-surgical maintenance, programming, or replacement of the medical device.

This means that the district needs to have a system in place to ensure that each DHH student is receiving a listening/hearing aid/cochlear implant check at the beginning of each school day.

Essentially, the question that should be asked is:

If a battery goes dead during instruction time – how is the school district providing equal access to instruction for the provision of FAPE as required by IDEA and Title II of the ADA?

Does the school have a plan for how they are ensuring equal and timely access to instruction? This may mean that they have a backup battery just at school for this purpose, a CI sleeve that connects with an FM system, etc. If there are no backups and/or plans in place – how is the provision of  timely and equal access to instruction able to be proven?

 

The information contained in the FAQs does not constitute legal advice. Please refer to the original sources listed in each FAQ for more information. 

The answer is “possibly.” Please see Florida’s Technical Assistance Paper (TAP) for Assistive Technology, found here: https://info.fldoe.org/docushare/dsweb/Get/Document-6801/dps-2013-65.pdf  G-1. Can a student take an assistive technology device home?
Code of Federal Regulations, Sec. 300.105 Assistive technology states…
(a) Each public agency must ensure that assistive technology devices or assistive technology services, or both, as those terms are defined in §§300.5 and 300.6, respectively, are made available to a child with a disability if required as a part of the child’s—
(1) Special education under §300.39;
(2) Related services under §300.34; or
(3) Supplementary aids and services under §§300.42 and 300.114(a)(2)(ii).
(b) On a case-by-case basis, the use of school-purchased assistive technology 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 FAPE.

You can read a great article on the Success for Children With Hearing Loss website . Read More Here.

 

The information contained in the FAQs does not constitute legal advice. Please refer to the original sources listed in each FAQ for more information. 

Many school districts are unclear as to whether they are responsible for mapping (or programming) a student’s cochlear implant. Per Title 34, Sections 300.5 and 300.6, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), the definitions of assistive technology and related services do not include a medical device that is surgically implanted, or the replacement of such device. In accordance with Section 300.34(b)(1), CFR, related services do not include a medical device that is surgically implanted, the optimization of that device’s functioning (e.g., mapping), maintenance of that device, or the replacement of that device.

However, per Section 300.34(b)(2), CFR, the exclusion of the term does not limit the right of a child with a cochlear implant to receive related services that are determined by the IEP team to be necessary for the student nor does it prevent the routine checking of an external component of a surgically implanted device to make sure it is functioning properly as required in Section 300.113(b), CFR.” From: http://www.fldoe.org/core/fileparse.php/7571/urlt/0086201-y2007-5.pdf

Essentially, the question is:

How is the school district providing equal access to instruction for the provision of FAPE as required by IDEA and Title II of the ADA?

For example, if a battery goes dead during instruction time – does the school have a plan for how they are ensuring equal and timely access to instruction? This may mean that they have a backup battery just at school for this purpose, a CI sleeve that connects with an FM system, etc. If they do not have backups and plans in place – how can they prove they are providing timely and equal access to instruction?

 

The information contained in the FAQs does not constitute legal advice. Please refer to the original sources listed in each FAQ for more information. 

Educational Placement Considerations for Students who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing (4)

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), America’s special education law, says that “In determining the educational placement of a child with a disability, including a preschool child with a disability, each public agency shall ensure that the placement decision is made by a group of persons, including the parents, and other persons knowledgeable about the child, the meaning of the evaluation data, and the placement options.” Sec. 300.552(a)(1). In almost every case, this “group of persons” is the IEP team. Parents are a key part of the IEP team and often they will be the one to cast the deciding vote about placement.

For more information on Placement, visit the Clerc Center Website.

 

The information contained in the FAQs does not constitute legal advice. Please refer to the original sources listed in each FAQ for more information. 

Least Restrictive Environment (IDEA defines least restrictive environment as education provided to children, to the greatest extent appropriate, with their non-disabled peers. The rules about placement further encourage that students be placed in the general program in their neighborhood schools, unless it is not appropriate for meeting their individual needs. “>LRE): This is the idea that a child with disabilities should attend the same school that he or she would if nondisabled. This environment is less restrictive than other types of schools.

For deaf and hard of hearing children, the IDEA defines least restrictive environment as education provided to children, to the greatest extent appropriate, with their non-disabled peers. The rules about placement further encourage that students be placed in the general program in their neighborhood schools, unless it is not appropriate for meeting their individual needs. “>LRE may be different because their communication needs sets them apart from other children. The specific wording of the law is “The IEP Team shall consider the communication needs of the child, and in the case of a child who is deaf or hard of hearing, consider the child’s language and communication needs, opportunities for direct communications with peers and professional personnel in the child’s language and communication mode, academic level, and full range of needs, including opportunities for direct instruction in the child’s language and communication mode.(IDEA, Section 300.46(a)(2)(iv).

The ideal process would start with the IEP team looking at all the student’s communication needs. After the team has identified these needs, they decide the best way to address each of these needs. Then the team can discuss which school environment meets the student’s needs best.

Read more about LRE and Placement Considerations on the Clerc Center Website

 

The information contained in the FAQs does not constitute legal advice. Please refer to the original sources listed in each FAQ for more information. 

Placement refers to where a child gets educational services. There are different types of schools and programs that deaf and hard of hearing children could attend. This is a list of possible placements for deaf and hard of hearing children:

  • Local public school classroom
  • Public school classroom with resource room support
  • Separate classroom in public school
  • Separate nonresidential schools, public or private
  • Separate residential schools, public or private
  • Homebound or hospital environments
  • The IEP team has to discuss many considerations when deciding which placement will work best for a deaf or hard of hearing student.

For more information on Placement Considerations, visit the Clerc Center Website

 

The information contained in the FAQs does not constitute legal advice. Please refer to the original sources listed in each FAQ for more information. 

IDEA requires two things when considering placement for deaf and hard of hearing children:

In general, the regular public school classroom is the least restrictive environment. For deaf and hard of hearing children, the LRE may be different because their communication needs sets them apart from other children. The specific wording of the law is “The IEP Team shall consider the communication needs of the child, and in the case of a child who is deaf or hard of hearing, consider the child’s language and communication needs, opportunities for direct communications with peers and professional personnel in the child’s language and communication mode, academic level, and full range of needs, including opportunities for direct instruction in the child’s language and communication mode.(IDEA, Section 300.46(a)(2)(iv).

The ideal process would start with the IEP team looking at all the student’s communication needs. After the team has identified these needs, they decide the best way to address each of these needs. Then the team can discuss which school environment meets the student’s needs best.

For more information on Placement, visit the Clerc Center Website.

Educational Policy, Procedures, and Initiatives (5)

In 2013, the state issued a technical assistance paper on assistive technologies (which included hearing aids) that states, “When equipment is purchased with state education funds, district education funds, state special education funds or IDEA funds, the equipment becomes the property of the school and the school is responsible for maintenance, repair and insurance.” (Section E-1) You can find the Assistive Technology TAP here: https://info.fldoe.org/docushare/dsweb/Get/Document-6801/dps-2013-65.pdf.

If a student needs assistive technology (hearing aids, FM, etc.) and it’s on the IEP, then the district is responsible for the “maintenance, repair, and insurance” of that device. This could include routine checks (daily are required as per the Matrix of Services Handbook if they are counting the points for the device) and replacement when it isn’t functioning. If the device is functioning and the student is able to access the auditory information with the device, there is no hard and fast rule requiring replacement of older FM systems. The crux of the matter is going to be whether or not the student is receiving meaningful educational benefit from regular and/or specially designed instruction and related service(s) with the device(s) and the data being collected related thereto. If not, then the IEP team has to look at what devices are being used and determine what WILL give the student access, which in the case of older devices might mean replacement.

Professionals can check their district’s ESE Policies and Procedures Manual (SP&P) to see if the district has any information specific to amplification maintenance and/or replacement. You can find the SP&P for every district here: http://www.beessgsw.org/spp/institution/public . Once you’ve navigated to the site, choose the current year from the “Date Window” and then select your county from “District.” Some districts put specific information related to their programs in the SP&P while others just accept the DOE rule.

 

The information contained in the FAQs does not constitute legal advice. Please refer to the original sources listed in each FAQ for more information. 

According to the Department of Education Code of Federal Regulations, Section 300.113:

300.113 Routine checking of hearing aids and external components of surgically implanted medical devices.

(a) Hearing aids. Each public agency must ensure that hearing aids worn in school by children with hearing impairments, including deafness, are functioning properly.

(b) External components of surgically implanted medical devices.

(1) Subject to paragraph (b)(2) of this section, each public agency must ensure that the external components of surgically implanted medical devices are functioning properly.

(2) For a child with a surgically implanted medical device who is receiving special education and related services under this part, a public agency is not responsible for the post-surgical maintenance, programming, or replacement of the medical device.

This means that the district needs to have a system in place to ensure that each DHH student is receiving a listening/hearing aid/cochlear implant check at the beginning of each school day.

Essentially, the question that should be asked is:

If a battery goes dead during instruction time – how is the school district providing equal access to instruction for the provision of FAPE as required by IDEA and Title II of the ADA?

Does the school have a plan for how they are ensuring equal and timely access to instruction? This may mean that they have a backup battery just at school for this purpose, a CI sleeve that connects with an FM system, etc. If there are no backups and/or plans in place – how is the provision of  timely and equal access to instruction able to be proven?

 

The information contained in the FAQs does not constitute legal advice. Please refer to the original sources listed in each FAQ for more information. 

The answer is “possibly.” Please see Florida’s Technical Assistance Paper (TAP) for Assistive Technology, found here: https://info.fldoe.org/docushare/dsweb/Get/Document-6801/dps-2013-65.pdf  G-1. Can a student take an assistive technology device home?
Code of Federal Regulations, Sec. 300.105 Assistive technology states…
(a) Each public agency must ensure that assistive technology devices or assistive technology services, or both, as those terms are defined in §§300.5 and 300.6, respectively, are made available to a child with a disability if required as a part of the child’s—
(1) Special education under §300.39;
(2) Related services under §300.34; or
(3) Supplementary aids and services under §§300.42 and 300.114(a)(2)(ii).
(b) On a case-by-case basis, the use of school-purchased assistive technology 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 FAPE.

You can read a great article on the Success for Children With Hearing Loss website . Read More Here.

 

The information contained in the FAQs does not constitute legal advice. Please refer to the original sources listed in each FAQ for more information. 

Title 34, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) section 300.117, requires accessibility to all components of the educational process, including school-sponsored activities (e.g., related services, assemblies, field trips, extracurricular activities, athletics).

 

The information contained in the FAQs does not constitute legal advice. Please refer to the original sources listed in each FAQ for more information. 

Many school districts are unclear as to whether they are responsible for mapping (or programming) a student’s cochlear implant. Per Title 34, Sections 300.5 and 300.6, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), the definitions of assistive technology and related services do not include a medical device that is surgically implanted, or the replacement of such device. In accordance with Section 300.34(b)(1), CFR, related services do not include a medical device that is surgically implanted, the optimization of that device’s functioning (e.g., mapping), maintenance of that device, or the replacement of that device.

However, per Section 300.34(b)(2), CFR, the exclusion of the term does not limit the right of a child with a cochlear implant to receive related services that are determined by the IEP team to be necessary for the student nor does it prevent the routine checking of an external component of a surgically implanted device to make sure it is functioning properly as required in Section 300.113(b), CFR.” From: http://www.fldoe.org/core/fileparse.php/7571/urlt/0086201-y2007-5.pdf

Essentially, the question is:

How is the school district providing equal access to instruction for the provision of FAPE as required by IDEA and Title II of the ADA?

For example, if a battery goes dead during instruction time – does the school have a plan for how they are ensuring equal and timely access to instruction? This may mean that they have a backup battery just at school for this purpose, a CI sleeve that connects with an FM system, etc. If they do not have backups and plans in place – how can they prove they are providing timely and equal access to instruction?

 

The information contained in the FAQs does not constitute legal advice. Please refer to the original sources listed in each FAQ for more information. 

Testing & Assessment for Students who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing (1)

Portions of the FAIR Assessment are not accessible to Deaf or Hard of Hearing Students due to the auditory nature of the task. The back of the booklet does explain the test may not be appropriate for all students. The IEP team may have to determine that the test is not appropriate and identify another assessment to determine the student’s performance.

Here is a link to the FAIR Accommodations FLDOE Memo 10-28-09 that states the test is not an instrument appropriate for kids with sensory, cognitive or language deficits. There are additional comments specific to DHH as well.

http://www.justreadflorida.com/pdf/FAIR-Accommodations_MEMO_10-28-09.pdf

Here is the link to the State’s page for FAIR and FLKRS, where you’ll find links to the Administration Guides.

And this is a link to the State’s page for FAIR where you’ll find the link to the memo referenced above and other things FAIR.

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This website was developed by the Resource Materials and Technology Center for the Deaf/Hard of Hearing, a special project funded by the State of Florida, Department of Education, Division of Public Schools and Community Education, Bureau of Exceptional Education and Student Services through federal assistance under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Part B and IDEA Part B Trust funds and through an agreement with the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind.




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