How can I request that my school include technology in my child's IEP?
Assistive technology (AT) is often the most challenging part of an IEP. These services and equipment can be expensive and are highly individualized to each child's needs, which affects school districts' budgets and resources. If you feel your child would benefit from AT, ask for an evaluation during the IEP meeting. Make sure you request a start and end date for the evaluation. Once it's determined that your child needs AT, the school district is responsible for providing it -- even if it's expensive or difficult to find.
According to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), AT is any item, piece of equipment or product system that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of children with disabilities. It can range from hardware devices (such as special keyboards and mice) to software and apps. Evaluations -- which also are covered by the school district -- look at what best supports your child's learning, independence in the classroom, participation in activities, and communication needs.
If an assistive technology device, service, or program is included in your child's IEP, discuss with your IEP team whether it will come home with your child and who will be in charge of keeping it up to date. Get more information and advice on advocating for your child's AT.