PrAACtical Questions: What Happens to SGDs When Kids Move?

February 15, 2012 by - Leave your thoughts

PrAACtical Questions: What Happens to SGDs When Kids Move?
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This is the first in an occasional series in which we attempt to address questions posed to us by families, SLPs, and others who are providing AAC services. The first question we’ll tackle came from a school administrator who asked about what happens to AAC devices during transitions. 

The Situation: School district A had purchased an AAC device for a student following sound educational practices, such as a feature match assessment in which all key stakeholders played a significant role. The student then moved to a different part of the state but the device did not. The administrator from School District B wondered, “Shouldn’t the student be able to keep her AAC device?” The administrator from the original school district didn’t think so. The device was costly, she reasoned, and while it had been customized for this particular student, it could easily be re-programmed for a different student. Budgets are tight these days, and they wanted this device to help other students that they serve.

Who is correct in this situation? Should the device stay with the original district who purchased it, or should it follow the student?

The answer depends, at least in part, on where you live. AAC devices are a kind of assistive technology (AT), and, here in the US, some of laws governing AAC use in schools vary from state to state. In Florida, AAC devices DO follow the student, so the administrator from District B was correct (see FL statute 1003.575).

If everything goes according to plan, the AAC device should follow the child from home to preschool, from preschool to K-12, and then to from K-12 to post-school life.
Making this work can take a good deal of time, effort, and planning. Most of all, it takes the initiative of someone knowledgeable about rules and regulations to get the process started and monitor it through to completion. SLPs, if you have students nearing transition to another school or if they are getting ready to exit the system, make sure you have this on your radar. If we don’t do this, it may not get done.

Wondering about how this works where you live? If you are in the US, the best place to start is with your state’s Tech Act project. You can get a link to them here.
Do you have questions about AAC practices that you’d like us to address in future posts? If so, please let us know and we’ll do our best

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This post was written by Carole Zangari

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