Administrative Procedure 226: Special Education Personalized Equipment

Legal References

Education Act. Section 264 Duties of Teacher: Pursuit of Learning; Education Act: Section 265 Duties of Principal: Care of Pupils; Education Act: Section 286 Duties of Supervisory Officers: Assist Teachers; R.R.O. Reg. 298 Operation of Schools: Section 11 Duties of Principals: Supervise Instruction; R.R.O. Reg. 298: Section 20 Duties of Teachers: Effective Instruction, All Reasonable Safety Procedures; R.R.O. Reg. 306 Special Education Programs and Services; Policy/Program Memorandum No. 81 Provision of Health Support Services in School Settings; Financial/Architectural Memorandum No. 4 (1984) Approval of Personalized Special Instructional Equipment

Related References

Administrative Procedure (AP) 140 Technology: Responsible Use and Security; AP 227 Identification, Placement and Review Committee; Educational Services Memo MP#17 2005-06 Special Equipment Amount (SEA); Form 226A Claim for Special Equipment Amount; Form 226B: SEA Equipment Agreement

1. System Direction for Personalized Equipment

The Director of Education has developed this administrative procedure to provide direction and consistency to principals when considering requests for special instructional equipment to meet the individual needs of a pupil.

2. Procedures for Special Equipment

2.1 The board psychology team and/or specialists from outside agencies may recommend that a student have specific equipment which is beyond the capabilities of individual schools to purchase. Special funding can be used to purchase equipment for any student with a special need, where the equipment is required to support the student’s access to the Ontario curriculum and/or alternative program. Students need not be formally identified as an exceptional student, but their need for equipment must be recommended by a relevant qualified professional and evidence of the use of equipment must be documented in the student’s Individual Education Plan (IEP) or in other program documentation.
 
Examples of eligible equipment include:
    1. FM systems and amplification systems;
    2. Speech analyzers;
    3. Adjustable desks and computer tables;
    4. Computer hardware/software;
    5. Braille equipment;
    6. Print enlargers for students with low vision;
    7. Symbol or letter voice translators;
    8. Insulated booths and study carrels;
    9. Positioning devices for sitting, standing, lying;
    10. Personal care items such as change tables;
    11. Lifts or harnesses for moving students;
    12. Car seats for school-provided transportation;
    13. Equipment to enable staff to interact with students as they access their course of study including microphones, safety vests or other protective gear;
    14. Warranties and service contracts for technology; or
    15. Training for students and staff on how to use SEA funded computers, software or other equipment.
2.2 The following criteria are to be applied:
    1. An educational need exists;
    2. The need is supported in correspondence by an appropriate professional which provides a diagnosis of the condition the equipment is intended to address and states that the equipment is required in order for the student to benefit from instruction or access the curriculum;
    3. Other funding has been explored and is not available (e.g., Assistive Devices Program of the Ministry of Health);
    4. The equipment being requested has a cumulative value of $800.00 or more; and
    5. In the case of an equipment renewal for a particular student, three years have passed since the last claim.
2.3 Requests for this equipment shall be directed to the superintendent responsible for special education using Form 226A Claim for Special Equipment Amount: Personalized Equipment. In the case of lifts or equipment requiring installations, the school shall advise the Facilities Manager that a claim is being made.

2.4 Principals or their designate(s) are responsible to ensure that:
    1. Equipment is functioning and meeting students’ needs;
    2. Equipment is replaced as required, when the student outgrows the equipment or when the equipment wears out through use;
    3. Upgrades and refurbishment are considered before replacement as an option; and
    4. Efforts are made to share equipment among several students when appropriate and possible.
2.5 Where equipment will be shared by several students, such as a Brailler or printer, a claim shall be made in the name of one student only. The Ministry supports the sharing of equipment. This must be made clear when the equipment and/or software is ordered.
For example, schools could order one printer and one scanner for three students (the students’ names would be identified) and all three students could then legitimately access the equipment. The same holds true for lifting devices.

2.6 The equipment is for the use of the identified student and will follow the student to any school in the board to which the student moves. In the case of shared equipment, it would not follow the student who is moving but would remain at the original school. If the student transfers to another publicly funded board in the province, the equipment goes with the student. The receiving board incurs the costs of shipping and handling. The SEA guidelines in the Learning Services Handbook (found on the Core) provide the appropriate documentation requirements. The equipment is intended for use at school only, unless costs are shared through programs such as the Assistive Devices Program.

2.7 The equipment becomes the property of the board if the student graduates or retires from the system and does not attend another publicly funded board in the province.

2.8 All SEA equipment must be entered in the custom fields for Special Education of the Maplewood student database.

2.9 Internal and Ministry spot audits will be conducted each year to determine that:
    1. The equipment is found with the student for whom the cost was claimed;
    2. The equipment is in good repair and working order; and
    3. The student and/or staff are able to operate the equipment.
2.10 Principals have discretion to allow SEA equipment to be transported home for student use only. This applies mainly, but is not limited to, laptop computers obtained for senior elementary and secondary students. Before releasing equipment to be taken home, parents must provide the principal with proof that they have obtained a rider on their household insurance for the value of the specific equipment.

2.11 Parents must use the Form 226B: SEA Equipment Agreement. This document lists the specific equipment as required, in order to obtain coverage from the parents’ insurer.

2.12 Schools are to use a letter informing parents of these options.

2.13 The SEA Equipment Agreement and proof of insurance must be filed in the student’s Ontario Student Record.

2.14 These agreements are to be renewed annually and correspond with the school year.

2.15 Equipment must not be kept at home during the summer.

2.16 Principals must notify the superintendent responsible for special education when a piece of specialized equipment is not being used so that it can be placed on an inventory of equipment that can be made available to other students. Forms for doing so are found in the Learning Services Handbook on the Core.
 
Issued 2006