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IDEA Complaint Decision 08-006

On January 15, 2007, the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) received a complaint under state and federal special education law from XXXXX against the Neenah Joint School District following an incident in which the student was injured while being removed from a prone stander. This is the department’s decision regarding that complaint. The issues are whether the district, during the 2007-2008 school year, properly determined and included in a student’s individualized education program (IEP) the use of a prone stander and ensured staff were properly trained and supervised regarding the use of the prone stander.

When an IEP is developed, the IEP team must consider special factors including whether the student needs assistive technology devices and services. The district developed an IEP on March 6, 2007. The IEP listed a prone stander as one of the assistive technology devices to be provided to the student. The IEP team considered the student’s need for assistive technology devices and services.

The student had been using the prone stander since 2005 to improve posture and provide for weight bearing activity. A protocol for appropriate use of the stander was communicated to staff. The amount of time the student used the stander was monitored daily using a whiteboard in the classroom. Classroom staff were trained in the use of the stander when first implemented. The physical therapist was in the student’s classroom two days per week for one and one-half hours, working directly with the student a half hour per week. During these times, the therapist checked in with staff regarding the use of equipment, made adjustments to the equipment as needed, and intermittently observed staff using the stander. Staff were properly trained and supervised in the use of the prone stander.

Federal law requires when identified as necessary, assistive technology devices, services, or both are made available as a part of the student’s special education, related services, or supplementary aids and services. The IEP must include a statement of the services to be provided including the anticipated frequency, location, and duration of those services or the circumstances under which the services will be provided. The student’s IEP did not include such a description. Within 30 days of receiving this decision, the district will convene an IEP team meeting to review the student’s need for assistive technology devices and services, and as appropriate, revise the student’s IEP to include a statement of the amount, frequency, and location of such services, consistent with revised district policy described below.

Following receipt of the complaint, the district revised its procedures for documenting the use of assistive technology devices. These procedures include the use of a form for documenting the conditions under which assistive technology devices will be used, dates of equipment checks and adjustments, and staff training. Current IEPs are being reviewed for correct documentation. District special education staff will receive training on the new procedures including the requirement to specify the amount, location, and frequency of such services on student IEPs. The district will provide documentation to the department when the training has been completed. No additional district-wide corrective action is required.

This concludes our review of this complaint.

//signed CST 3/11/08
Carolyn Stanford Taylor
Assistant State Superintendent
Division for Learning Support: Equity and Advocacy