In St. Cloud, Minnesota, educators in District 742 believe that if a student's ability to communicate effectively is dependent upon technology, he or she should have access to that technology at all times. This strong commitment has motivated district staff to find ways to ensure that students with communication disorders have 24-hour access to assistive devices. More recently, students with severe writing problems have also been given round-the-clock access to laptop computers.
Families and community organizations in the district are often asked to play a role in the implementation process. For example, the district may buy a laptop in conjunction with a community service organization, parents may purchase the maintenance contract, and the school may carry the insurance.
The individual student's educational plan (IEP) is the centerpiece of this approach. The technology is written into the IEP as a tool for meeting specific educational goals (access to the technology is not the goal in and of itself). Teachers, parents, and administrators agree upon the implementation details and these are explicitly documented in the IEP.
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This material was developed by the National Center to Improve Practice (NCIP), located at Education Development Center, Inc. in Newton, Massachusetts. NCIP was funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs from October 1, 1992 - September 30, 1998, Grant #H180N20013. Permission is granted to copy and disseminate this information. If you do so, please cite NCIP. Contents do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Department of Education, nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by NCIP, EDC, or the U.S. Government. This site was last updated in September 1998.
ŠEducation Development Center, Inc.