However, being taught the necessary skills to read and write involves more than teaching children encoding and decoding. It involves learning how to hold a book and a pencil, tracking words on a page or screen, learning what strategies to use when fatigue or frustration overcome them, learning how to best advocate when they are struggling, identifying assistive technology to help them and teaching them how to use the assistive technology, and identifying and providing the specially-designed instruction needed to teach students this other side of reading and writing, and how to practice and perfect it.
When compensatory education is proposed, you might face a school district that wants to provide it within a set period of time. Consider, instead, asking that it be provided until each minute owed has been provided in full.
In its fact sheet, titled “Providing Students with Disabilities Free Appropriate Public Education During the COVID-19 Pandemic and Addressing the Need for Compensatory Services Under Section 504,” USDOE Office for Civil Rights ( cited 34 C.F.R. § 104.6(a) and Barnes v. Gorman, 536 U.S. 181, 189 (2002) in support of the above definition.
When schools fail children, they end up having to provide compensatory education in return. In theory, it sounds great. The school district will make up for its errors, the student will receive help, all will be good. . . .
However, the reality is much different.
Pay attention, because you might live in an area that doesn’t proactively propose related services in compliance with IDEA, Section 504, and/or implementing state regulations. Too often, my experience has been that if you don’t know to ask, they won’t be proposed.
Related services are supports required to assist a child with a disability to benefit from special education. This could be transportation to tutoring sessions, work with a speech therapist, assistive technology training for the parent and student, training parents to use sign language, providing special training to teachers working with students, and much more.
34 C.F.R. § 300.324(a)(2)(v) specifically states:
(a) Development of IEP—
(2) Consideration of special factors.
The IEP Team must—
(v) Consider whether the child needs assistive technology devices and services.
This includes assistive technology devices and services. Examples include:
* A laptop that 1) scans worksheets, which the student can then type on (because typing might be easier than writing), and 2) can be used to take pictures of the front board, notes, or any other information the child needs.
* A computer with a screen reader, to help with literacy
* Access to Learning Ally and other sources for audiobooks
* Noise-cancelling head-phones
If your child needs assistive technology devices or services, under both IDEA and Section 504, your child has the right to be provided them.
Transition plans are exactly what they sound like. They help students prepare for their transition from high school to whatever comes next in their lives.