Specialized Equipment How the Board determines who needs individualized equipment: The Ministry of Education Provides funding to school boards to offset the costs of equipment essential to support students. The Ottawa Catholic School Board follows the guidelines as described in The Ministry of Education Site: Special Education Funding Guidelines: Special Equipment Amount. Special Equipment Amount (SEA) Guidelines 2017-2018 The need for equipment must be recommended by a qualified professional (i.e., Teacher of Blind and Low Vision, Physiotherapist, Occupational Therapist, Psychologist, Speech Language Pathologist, Medical Doctor, Audiologist). The equipment recommended is to provide students with accommodations essential to access the Ontario curriculum and/or board-determined alternative program and/or to attend school. Once a letter, report or addendum stating the essential nature of the equipment needed for the student is received, the resource/special education teacher will begin a comprehensive process. The resource/special education teacher will meet with other members of this student's interdisciplinary team to ensure that, should a claim be put forth, it reflects all of the student's needs. Care is taken to ensure that equipment ordered matches the child’s individual needs at this time in his schooling. Training on the use of the equipment is vital to ensure the student views and accepts the equipment as a support to his learning. The complete process, along with related forms and helpful links is easily accessed on a website created by Ottawa Catholic School Board’s Assistive Technology Teacher. http://atsupportocsb.weebly.com/sea-process.html Forms regarding the use of computer equipment at home to complete homework assignments are also available on this website. Criteria Used for Purchasing Equipment and Budget Considerations The Ottawa Catholic School Board uses the guidelines as described in Ministry Documentation as criteria to purchase equipment. The professional making the recommendation, along with school and Special Education and Student Services Department members who assess the specific needs of the student in the school setting, are the experts in assisting in the decision to proceed with the claim. Consultation with service providers such as OT, Physiotherapists, or psychology staff occurs where needed to help with clarification of SEA guidelines. Consideration is given to surplus equipment available in the system, or opportunities where students can share 84
equipment. Staff from schools, Special Education and Student Services, Learning Technologies, Purchasing and Finance Departments work in collaboration to complete the Board’s streamlined process. Claims that have all the necessary requirements are sent to a SEA coordinator within the Special Education and Student Services Department for approval. For all non computer related equipment, the Board absorbs $800 deductible per student per Specialized Equipment Claim within a year period (May to April). Any amount over that is covered by Ministry funding. If the purchase of equipment costs less than $800, it does not meet the criteria for Specialized Equipment funding and the cost of these lower cost items should be processed through the school budget. Computers, software and computer related devices are purchased from the SEA per pupil amount funding component. The IEP is adjusted by the school special education teacher to reflect the actual equipment in use. The Board offers parents/guardians and teachers ongoing, multiple opportunities for training and or workshops in the use of various software and hardware equipment.