Is there a timeline for replacement of amplification equipment?
The IDEA states in section 300.113(a) 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 [emphasis added].
If a student needs assistive technology (hearing aids, FM system, etc.) and it’s on the IEP, then the district is responsible for the “maintenance, repair, and insurance” of that device. This could include routine checks (daily are required as per the Matrix of Services Handbook if they are counting the points for the device) and replacement when it isn’t functioning. If the device is functioning and the student is able to access the auditory information with the device, there is no hard and fast rule requiring replacement of older FM systems. The crux of the matter is going to be whether or not the student is receiving meaningful educational benefit from regular and/or specially designed instruction and related service(s) with the device(s) and the data being collected related thereto. If not, then the IEP team has to look at what devices are being used and determine what WILL give the student access, which in the case of older devices might mean replacement.
Professionals can check their district’s ESE Policies and Procedures (ESE P&Ps) to see if the district has any information specific to amplification maintenance and/or replacement. Some districts put specific information related to their programs in the SP&P while others just accept the DOE rule.
The information contained in the FAQs does not constitute legal advice. Please refer to the original sources listed in each FAQ for more information.