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(7.8) What sorts of things may I ask for in the way of supplementary aids and services to assist my child in the regular classroom?

(7.8) What sorts of things may I ask for in the way of supplementary aids and services to assist my child in the regular classroom?

The federal law defines supplementary aids and services very broadly as: “aids, services, and other supports that are provided in regular education classes or other education-related settings to enable children with disabilities to be educated with nondisabled children to the maximum extent appropriate…” [20 U.S.C. Sec.1401(33); 34 C.F.R. Secs. 300.42 & 300.114.] Examples of supplemental aids and services that might be used to assist special education students in regular classes include, but are not limited to:  a structured learning environment, repeating and simplifying instructions about in-class and homework assignments, supplementing verbal instructions with visual instructions, using behavioral management techniques, adjusting class schedules, modifying test delivery, using tape recorders, computer-aided instruction and other audio-visual equipment, modified textbooks or workbooks, tailoring homework assignments, reducing class size, use of one-on-one tutorials, classroom aides and note takers, involvement of a “services coordinator” to oversee implementation of special programs and services, modification of nonacademic times (such as lunchroom, recess and physical education).

Other examples are: modifications to the regular class curriculum, assistance of an itinerant special education teacher, special education training for the regular teacher, use of computer-assisted devices, and the use of a resource room. [Questions and Answers on the Least Restrictive Environment Requirements of the IDEA, U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, OSEP-95-9, 11/23/94, Questions and Answers Nos. 3 and 4.]

One federal appellate court described the provision regarding supplemental aids and services as follows: “[The IDEA] does not permit states to make mere token gestures to accommodate handicapped students; its requirement for modifying and supplementing regular education is broad.” [Daniel R.R. v. El Paso Independent School District, 874 F.2d 1036 (5th Cir, 1989).]

If your child needs supplementary aids and services, accommodations, or modifications in the regular classroom, you should discuss these supports with the IEP team just like any other educational service or placement. With team agreement, add these educational supports to your child’s IEP.