Wednesday, 16 January 2019

Ceisteanna (120)

Michael Healy-Rae

Ceist:

120. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Education and Skills if she will address the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1931/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

My Department's policy in relation to the provision of Assistive Technology support for pupils with Special Educational Needs is set out in Department of Education and Skills Circular 0010/2013.The National Council for Special Education (NCSE), through its network of local Special Educational Needs Organisers (SENOs), is responsible for processing applications from schools for special educational needs supports. SENOs also make recommendations to my Department where Assistive Technology is required.

In order to qualify for equipment under the Assistive Technology scheme, a child must have been diagnosed with a physical or communicative disability and must also have a recommendation in a professional assessment that the equipment is essential in order to allow the child to access the curriculum. It must also be clear that the existing I.T. equipment in the school is insufficient to meet the child's needs. As part of the application process, for which parental consent is required, schools set out how and in what manner the equipment which has been recommended in the professional report will be used in the classroom.

Although equipment is sanctioned under the Assistive Technology scheme for use by particular pupils, it is the property of the school, and the school’s management authority will have responsibility for maintenance, repair, and insurance of the equipment. The management authority will ensure safe custody and handling of the equipment, while a designated teacher in the school should take responsibility for the management of the equipment, and for monitoring its effective use within the school.

Equipment purchased should normally be kept in the school. However, as stated in Circular 0010/2013, a pupil may, with the consent of the management authority, use the equipment at home.

Should a parent be dissatisfied with the manner in which the Assistive Technology which has been provided to support their child's education are being applied in school, they should raise this matter directly with their school Principal or the Board of Management of the school.