Federal Guidance Helps Schools Support Students With Hearing, Speech Disabilities New guidance issued in November helps public schools ensure that students with hearing, vision or speech disabilities can communicate as effectively as all other students, as required by provisions in different federal laws. The Individuals With Disabilities Education Act, Title II of the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990, and ... News in Brief
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News in Brief  |   January 01, 2015
Federal Guidance Helps Schools Support Students With Hearing, Speech Disabilities
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Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Hearing Disorders / School-Based Settings / News in Brief
News in Brief   |   January 01, 2015
Federal Guidance Helps Schools Support Students With Hearing, Speech Disabilities
The ASHA Leader, January 2015, Vol. 20, 10. doi:10.1044/leader.NIB1.20012015.10
The ASHA Leader, January 2015, Vol. 20, 10. doi:10.1044/leader.NIB1.20012015.10
New guidance issued in November helps public schools ensure that students with hearing, vision or speech disabilities can communicate as effectively as all other students, as required by provisions in different federal laws.
The Individuals With Disabilities Education Act, Title II of the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 all address public schools’ obligations to meet the communication needs of students with disabilities, but do so in different ways:
  • IDEA requires schools to provide a student with a disability a free, appropriate public education designed to provide meaningful educational benefit through an Individualized Education Program.

  • Title II of the Americans With Disabilities Act requires schools to provide, without charge, auxiliary aids and services to ensure that students with disabilities can communicate as effectively as all other students, with primary consideration of students’ and parents’ preferences.

Compliance with one set of regulations may—or may not—meet the requirements of the other.
To address the interplay of the IDEA and Title II requirements and to help schools apply both sets of provisions, the U.S. Department of Justice and U.S. Department of Education jointly issued “Frequently Asked Questions on Effective Communication for Students With Hearing, Vision, or Speech Disabilities in Public Elementary and Secondary Schools”.
The document answers several questions:
  • What do federal laws require of a public school to meet the communication needs of students with hearing, vision or speech disabilities?

  • Are the aids and services required be the same under both laws?

  • Does the school have to give a student the aid or service the parents request?

  • What types of aids or services could be required for students?

  • Where can I get more information about the rights of students with hearing, vision or speech disabilities?

  • What can a parent do if the school won’t give a child what the parent thinks is needed?

The FAQs and a “Dear Colleague” letter are both available in Spanish.
1 Comment
January 19, 2015
Mary Huston
Great action, but...
Many school SLPs are already overburdened, overworked, and overwhelmed. While I applaud the recognition that many students need our specialized help - not just those on IEPs, where is the advocacy for the SLP? At this point, my concern is that this action (great as it is) will cause an even greater burden on already overworked SLPs.
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January 2015
Volume 20, Issue 1