IDEA Part C Proposed Rules Released ASHA Submits Comments on Personnel Qualifications, Early Intervention, Other Issues Policy Analysis
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Policy Analysis  |   July 01, 2007
IDEA Part C Proposed Rules Released
Author Notes
  • Catherine D. Clarke, director of education and regulatory advocacy, at cclarke@asha.org or 800-498-2071, ext. 4159.
    Catherine D. Clarke, director of education and regulatory advocacy, at cclarke@asha.org or 800-498-2071, ext. 4159.×
Article Information
Regulatory, Legislative & Advocacy / Policy Analysis
Policy Analysis   |   July 01, 2007
IDEA Part C Proposed Rules Released
The ASHA Leader, July 2007, Vol. 12, 1-6. doi:10.1044/leader.PA2.12092007.1
The ASHA Leader, July 2007, Vol. 12, 1-6. doi:10.1044/leader.PA2.12092007.1
ASHA has released a preliminary analysis of key issues important to school-based speech-language pathologists and audiologists in the proposed Part C regulations of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (IDEA), the early intervention program for infants and toddlers with disabilities.
The proposed regulations were published in the May 9, 2007, Federal Register. To gather public input on the proposed regulations, the U.S. Department of Education held a series of regional public meetings in June. Comments on the proposed regulations are due by July 23, reflecting a 75-day comment period required by the law. Comments may be mailed or submitted through the federal e-rulemaking portal.
The following issues in the proposed rules are important to the professions:
  • Personnel qualifications—The proposed regulations require each statewide system to establish qualification standards to ensure that personnel are adequately trained. ASHA is concerned that the proposed rules do not provide enough guidance and assurance that personnel will be appropriately qualified.

  • Early intervention—The definition of speech-language pathology services includes sign language and cued language services, as well as interpreting and transliteration services for infants or toddlers with hearing loss. ASHA is concerned that listing these services (often not performed by an SLP) under this definition may cause confusion.

  • Multidisciplinary teams—The proposed regulations use a term for team models that typically applies to a model in which many professionals provide assessments, recommendations, and treatment separately, and a coordinator integrates everyone’s findings. ASHA is concerned that the use of this term may prohibit the use of other team models, such as interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary teams, which may be better suited to the task.

  • State option to make Part C services available to children over 3 years old—States may opt to provide early intervention services to children from age 3 until they enter, or are eligible to enter, elementary school. A state’s policy for offering Part C services to children over age 3 cannot affect the right of any child to receive a free, appropriate public education (FAPE) under Part B. However, a state is not required to provide Part B services while the child is receiving Part C services. ASHA is concerned that the proposed rules do not ensure that a parent is fully aware of the consequences—especially the impact on the child’s right to FAPE—when they consent to early intervention services for a child over 3 years old.

  • Assistive technology—The definition of assistive technology in the proposed regulations excludes surgically implanted medical devices, including cochlear implants, and the mapping or programming, maintenance, or replacement of that device. ASHA believes that optimization and maintenance of cochlear implants should be covered under Part C. Setting and evaluating the effectiveness of a cochlear implant meet the same goal as setting a listening device, a covered service.

  • Evaluation and assessment timelines—Under both rules, a child’s evaluation, assessment, and initial Individualized Family Service Plan meeting must occur within 45 days. Under current rules, the 45 days begin when the referral is received. Under the proposed rules, the time period begins when parental consent is received. ASHA is concerned that this change could cause undue delays in providing services.

Additional issues are being identified by an IDEA Member Advisory Group (MAG) and National Office staff. Continue to check ASHA’s IDEA Information Center for details of the preliminary analysis and further updates. The proposed regulations are available online.
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FROM THIS ISSUE
July 2007
Volume 12, Issue 9