Is the school responsible for replacing hearing aid batteries, batteries for FMs, etc?
According to IDEA section 300.113 of Title 34, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR):
Routine checking of hearing aids and external components of surgically implanted medical devices.
(a) Hearing aids. Each public agency must ensure that hearing aids worn in school by children with hearing impairments, including deafness, are functioning properly.
(b) External components of surgically implanted medical devices.
(1) Subject to paragraph (b)(2) of this section, each public agency must ensure that the external components of surgically implanted medical devices are functioning properly.
(2) For a child with a surgically implanted medical device who is receiving special education and related services under this part, a public agency is not responsible for the post-surgical maintenance, programming, or replacement of the medical device.
This means that the district needs to have a system in place to ensure that each DHH student is receiving a listening/hearing aid/cochlear implant check at the beginning of each school day.
Essentially, the question that should be asked is:
If a battery goes dead during instruction time – how is the school district providing equal access to instruction for the provision of FAPE as required by IDEA and Title II of the ADA?
Does the school have a plan for how they are ensuring equal and timely access to instruction? This may mean that they have a backup battery just at school for this purpose, a CI sleeve that connects with an FM system, etc. If there are no backups and/or plans in place – how is the provision of timely and equal access to instruction able to be proven?
The information contained in the FAQs does not constitute legal advice. Please refer to the original sources listed in each FAQ for more information.