The Butte County SELPA, pursuant to California Education Code § 56836.22, receives and distributes funds for the purchase specialized books, materials, and equipment as required under the individualized education program (IEP) for each pupil with low incidence disabilities as defined in Education Code §56026.5 (defined as “hearing impairments, vision impairments, severe orthopedic impairments, or any combination thereof”). Items purchased with these funds may only be used by students with low incidence disabilities, unless a waiver has been approved by the State Board of Education.
IDEA now includes the requirement that the IEP team shall “consider whether the child requires assistive technology devices and services” for all students with disabilities, as well as other requirements including the need for “…Braille” for students who are “blind or visually impaired” and “language and communication needs…” for students who are deaf or hard of hearing. Existing law (Education Code §56822) provides that “sound recordings, large print, and Braille books purchased, instructional materials transcribed from regular print into special media, and special supplies and equipment purchased for individuals with exceptional needs for which state or federal funds were allowed, are property of the state, and shall be available for use by individuals with exceptional needs throughout the state as the board shall provide.”
The Butte County SELPA Low Incidence Committee reviews all requests for equipment, materials, and books, as well as services reimbursement requests pursuant to SELPA Low Incidence Policies and SELPA Low Incidence Procedures. All requests for low incidence funds must be reviewed and approved by the Low Incidence Review Committee. The committee meets monthly for this purpose, and it is comprised of a representative from each of the low incidence categories, an assistive technology specialist, and the SELPA Director. Low incidence representatives are approved by the SELPA Directors' Council.
Committee Member Responsibilities
The Low Incidence Review Committee members must:
- Attend monthly expenditure review meetings
- Represent the concerns of selected low incidence groups
- Provide training and consultation support in completing requests and supporting staff in understanding criteria and requests
The Low Incidence Review Committee will review all requests for equipment using the following guiding principles:
- Specialized equipment, materials are necessary to allow the pupil access to classroom instruction within the student’s classroom environment.
- The equipment/materials requested are not meant to supplant funding for normally used specialized equipment in Special Day Classes.
- All program operators will be expected to make all reasonable efforts to set up classrooms with appropriate equipment and assure that surplus equipment was researched.
- Equipment/materials address the individual needs of the student in the most cost effective manner.
- The committee places priority on students with low incidence disabilities who are enrolled in public schools and who require specialized equipment in order to access the general education curriculum.
- If there is not enough money in the low incidence budget to honor all requests, the committee will allocate remaining funds on a priority basis according to the nature and number of requests.
Special education staff members who believe a student with a low incidence disability may have a need for specialized equipment or services should speak with their district's special education administrator or low incidence provider. Committee members and special education staff will find fillable forms in the SEIS Document Library in the folder entitled, "Butte County SELPA Low Incidence Forms."