Who is responsible for ensuring that a student’s hearing assistive technology (HAT) is working properly?
According to IDEA section 300.113 of Title 34, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), routine checks of hearing aids and external components of surgically implanted medical devices (e.g. Cochlear Implants, Bone Anchored Hearing Aid) are to be performed and the agency (e.g. the school district) must ensure that these hearing assistive technology (HAT) devices are functioning properly.
If the district were to be audited or taken into a due process hearing, how would they prove that the school is ensuring the HAT devices are functioning properly? This certainly would be a place where documentation would be imperative. Documentation could be completed daily, weekly, quarterly, etc. However, best practice would show daily documentation in order to prove the provision of free and appropriate public education (FAPE). One way to do this is by performing the Ling Six-Sound Test daily (see videos below on how to perform the test) and/or by using a hearing aid checker kit by a school staff member. If a student is capable of informing school staff when the HAT device is not functioning correctly, then the school can still document that the student was asked if his/her devices were functioning properly.
However, it should be noted that IDEA determines under paragraph (b)(2) of 34 CFR §300.113, it is NOT the responsibility of the school district for maintenance, programming, or replacement of a surgically implanted medical device (e.g. Cochlear Implant, Bone Anchored Hearing Aid):
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 that has been surgically implanted (or of an external component of the surgically implanted medical device).
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The information contained in the FAQs does not constitute legal advice. Please refer to the original sources listed in each FAQ for more information.