Pop-Up IEP

14. "Some of the braille textbooks haven’t come in yet, but we’re getting them translated as fast as we can."

Why is this statement problematic?

The school district must provide your child access to a free, appropriate public education (FAPE). All textbooks, readings, daily handouts and worksheets must be provided in braille at the same time these materials are available to your child’s sighted peers. Without access to the same instructional materials in a format your child can use, your child’s progress in the general education curriculum will be limited and he/she may not be able to keep up. Unfortunately, it is often difficult to get materials in braille because of the lag time in book adoption and ordering as well as the fact that it can take up to six months to braille a textbook. As a result, many children start, and may even finish, the school year without receiving their textbooks. An instructional material accessibility provision was included in the 2004 reauthorization of IDEA. This clause requires that publishers provide a standard electronic file to a central repository (The American Printing House for the Blind) for all textbooks used in K-12. It is anticipated that the standard electronic format and the central repository will speed up considerably the process by which printed textbooks can be converted into braille, thus increasing the speed by which they get into the hands of students.

Possible Parent/Advocate Responses

  1. “We appreciate the dilemma of working with the district (county or state) system; but we believe that Monica’s access to the curriculum cannot be compromised. What is slowing down the process of obtaining Monica’s textbooks in braille? As parents, we would be happy to call them (e.g., the school board, the central board, the ordering center) to encourage the acceleration of this process.”
  2. “We need to convene a meeting between Zahara’s regular education teachers and her TVI* to make sure that the worksheets and handout are given to the TVI/braille transcriber at least one week prior to being used in the classroom. We can document this plan in her IEP.”

*Teacher of Students who are Blind or Visually Impaired

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