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IDEA Complaint Decision 10-005

On January 22, 2010, the Department of Public Instruction received a complaint under state and federal special education law from XXXXX against the Lakeland UHS School District. This is the department’s decision regarding that complaint. The issue is whether the district, during the 2009-10 school year, properly implemented the student’s individualized education program (IEP) regarding the provision of assistive technology (i.e., computer).

Special education law requires the district to ensure student IEPs are in effect at the beginning of each school year for each student with a disability. The student’s IEP in place at the beginning of the 2009-2010 school year states the student will need assistive technology including voice recognition software, scan and read software, and a laptop. Other references to required access to a computer are found under the special factors and supplemental aids and services. Subsequent IEP team meetings were held on October 12, 2009, and December 17, 2009, and also included the student will have access to a computer for school academics.

The student’s computer was not properly functioning from the beginning of 2009-2010 school year until January 7, 2010. Due to a physical disability, the student cannot access academic instruction without a computer and could not access the software.

While the computer is now functioning properly, the district did not implement the student’s IEP at the beginning of the 2009-2010 school year. The district must, within 30 days from the date of this decision, develop a corrective action plan to ensure student IEPs are correctly implemented. The district must also within 30 days from the date of this decision, determine the compensatory services required because of the delay in implementing the student’s IEP.

All noncompliance identified above must be corrected as soon as possible, but in no case more than one year from the date of this decision. This concludes our review of this complaint.

//signed CST 3/23/10
Carolyn Stanford Taylor
Assistant State Superintendent
Division for Learning Support: Equity and Advocacy