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IDEA Complaint Decision 04-005

On February 17, 2004, the Department of Public Instruction received a complaint under state and federal special education law from XXXXX against the Poynette School District. This is the department's decision regarding that complaint. The issue is whether the district, during the 2003-2004 school year, implemented a student's individualized education program (IEP) regarding use of a voice recognition program.

The child's IEP developed on May 14, 2003, with a projected beginning date of May 16, 2003, requires a minimum of fifteen minutes of practice three times per week on "Dragon Speak" or another voice-to-text computer program. In its response to the complaint, the district acknowledges that it did not begin providing opportunities for practice on "Dragon Speak" or another voice-to-text program as specified in the IEP until the second semester of this school year due to a delay in obtaining the needed voice recognition software. The software arrived in the district on December 16, 2004, right before winter break. An IEP team meeting on December 8, 2003, was held to plan for the student's school absence from January until March 29, 2004. At that meeting, a plan for the student to receive appropriate instruction and practice using the software while recuperating at home was discussed. The district began implementing the plan in February 2004.

The local educational agency (LEA) must provide special education and related services to a child with a disability in accordance with the child's IEP. The amount of time to be committed to each of the services must be stated in the IEP in a manner that is clear to all who are involved in the development and implementation of the IEP. The amount of a special education or related service to be provided to a child may be stated in the IEP as a range (e.g., speech therapy to be provided three times per week for 30-45 minutes per session) if the IEP team determines that stating the amount of services as a range is necessary to meet the unique needs of the child. The IEP for this student requires a minimum of fifteen minutes of practice three times per week. Stating the amount of service as a minimum does not clearly commit district resources.

Within thirty days of receiving this decision, the district must submit to the department proposed corrective action to ensure the amount of services to be provided are specified in a manner that is clear to all who are involved in both the development and the implementation of the IEP. The district has assured the department that the district will convene an IEP team meeting to develop an IEP that includes a proper statement of services and to determine if the child needs additional services due to the delay in the child initially receiving services.

This concludes our review of this complaint.

//signed CST/SJP 4/18/04
Carolyn Stanford Taylor
Assistant State Superintendent
Division for Learning Support: Equity and Advocacy