DR. SHERILONDA E. GREEN
DIRECTOR OF EXCEPTIONAL PROGRAMS
Facilitated Individualized Education Program (FIEP)
The Facilitated Individualized Education Program (FIEP) is a collaborative dispute prevention and resolution process used when members of an IEP Team agree that the presence of a third party would help facilitate communication and problem solving. IEP facilitation can help IEP Teams overcome any pressure or anxiety associated with complex or controversial meetings and assist IEP Teams who have had a history of difficult interactions. A FIEP Team meeting is the same as any other IEP Team meeting, except that a facilitator joins the meeting. The IEP facilitator is a neutral third party that helps with communication and problem solving during an IEP Team meeting. The facilitator will keep the IEP Team focused on the student and development of the IEP, and does not make decisions about the student’s IEP.
Georgia Special Needs Scholarship Program
The Georgia Special Needs Scholarship may provide eligible special education students the opportunity to attend an approved private school or another public school. Please go to the Georgia Special Needs Scholarship website at http://www.gadoe.org/External-Affairs-and-Policy/Policy/Pages/Special-Needs-Scholarship-Program.aspx for more information about the state scholarship program.
Exceptional Program Information
The Charlton County School System seeks to locate and identify all children with disabilities in Charlton County. A disabled person under the age of 22, who resides in the county, attends a public, private, or home school in Charlton County, is highly mobile, or homeless may be eligible for special education services. To refer children between the ages of 3-21 for consideration to receive special education services through the public school system, please contact Dr. Sherilonda E. Green, Director of Exceptional Programs for the Charlton County School System (912-496-2596). For children 0-3 years of age, please contact Babies Can’t Wait (800-429-6307).
El sistema escolar del condado de Charlton intenta localizar e identificar a todos los niños con inhabilidades en el condado de Charlton. Una persona lisiada bajo edad de 22, que reside en el condado, atiende a una escuela pública, privada, o casera en el condado de Charlton, es altamente móvil, o nómada puede ser elegible para los servicios de la educación especial. Para referir a niños entre las edades de 3-21 para la consideración para recibir servicios de la educación especial a través del sistema escolar público, entre en contacto con por favor a Dr. Sherilonda E. Green, director de los programas excepcionales para el sistema escolar del condado de Charlton (912-496-2596). Para los niños 0-3 años de la edad, entran en contacto con por favor a bebés no pueden esperar (800-429-6307).
Assistive Technology Device
Assistive technology devices are identified in the IDEA 2004 as:
Any item, piece of equipment or product system, whether acquired commercially off the shelf, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of children with disabilities.
The term does not include a medical device that is surgically implanted, or the replacement of such device.
(Authority 20 U.S.C. 1401(1))
Although the IDEA uses the term “device”, it is important to recognize that assistive technology devices required by students with disabilities include hardware and software as well as stand-alone devices. Almost any tool can be considered to be an assistive technology device except for those assistive technology devices that are surgically implanted and have been excluded from the definition of an assistive technology device as defined in IDEA.
The definition of an assistive technology device is very broad and gives IEP teams the flexibility that they need to make decisions about appropriate assistive technology devices for individual students. Assistive technology includes technology solutions that are generally considered instructional technology tools, if they have been identified as educationally necessary and documented in the student’s IEP. For example, a classroom computer with a word processing program can be considered assistive technology for a student who demonstrates difficulty in writing and spelling if the IEP team has determined that it is educationally necessary. Assistive technology devices can be purchased from a local store or a vendor that specializes in the production and sale of assistive technology devices. These devices often need to be modified or customized to meet the individual needs of a student with a disability. For example, a computer keyboard may need to be adapted through the addition of tactile locator dots for a student with a visual impairment. When determining assistive technology needs, IEP teams should consider commercially available solutions that may be used “as is” or ones that can be modified to meet the student’s unique needs. In some situations, it may be necessary to construct a device to meet the student’s needs.
A range of assistive technology devices are available. Some are relatively “low technology” and inexpensive. For example, a pencil grip is an assistive technology device that may be used by a student with a physical disability to improve handwritten communication through increasing the student’s grasp of and control over his or her pencil. An adapted cup with enlarged handles may be used by a student who has difficulty holding a standard cup. Other devices are more “high technology” tools and are often more expensive. An example of a “high technology” tool is an augmentative communication device in which a student types in messages on a communication display and they are spoken aloud.
Assistive Technology Services
As defined in IDEA, an assistive technology service is:
Any service that directly assists a child with a disability in the selection, acquisition, and use of an assistive technology device. The term includes -
- The evaluation of the needs of a child with a disability, including a functional evaluation of the child in the child’s customary environment;
- Purchasing, leasing, or otherwise providing for the acquisition of assistive technology devices by children with disabilities;
- Selecting, designing, fitting, customizing, adapting, applying, retaining, repairing, or replacing assistive technology devices;
- Coordinating and use other therapies, interventions, or services with assistive technology devices, such as those associated with existing education and rehabilitation plans and programs;
- Training or technical assistance for a child with a disability or, if appropriate, that child’s family; and
- Training or technical assistance for professionals (including individuals or rehabilitation services), employers, or other individuals who provide services to employ, or are otherwise substantially involved in the major life functions of children with disabilities.
(Authority 20 U.S.C. 1401(2))
As stated in the IDEA, assistive technology services are provided to assist in the selection, acquisition, and use of an assistive technology device. Often an IEP team focuses their energies on the device itself and forgets that the assistive technology services, as described in this document, are critical to the student’s use of the device. For some students, appropriate assistive technology devices are identified through an evaluation which the IDEA specifies must be conducted in the student’s customary environment. After, a device has been selected to meet the student’s needs, the next step or “service” is to actually provide the assistive technology device for the student’s use. After the device has been obtained, and if appropriate, modified, all appropriate individuals should be trained in the use of the device and the device should be made available for the student’s use across instructional settings as needed.
Prior to IDEA 2004, there was some discussion as to whether a school system was responsible for the maintenance, programming, and replacement of surgically implanted assistive technology devices such as cochlear implants and whether or not these would be considered assistive technology. The following excerpt from IDEA addresses this issue:
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 maintenance, programming, or replacement of the medical device that has been surgically implanted (or of an external component of the surgically implanted medical device)