The Jasper County School District offers related services to students who qualify as part of its provision of a free appropriate public education (FAPE) to all students with disabilities in accordance with the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA). A variety of support services are available to student who qualify including: speech language therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, assistive technology, vision services, orientation & mobility services and special needs transportation.
Speech Language Therapy
Speech-Language Therapy services focus on supporting students’ communication needs in the educational environment, as well as encouraging growth which will enable the student to effectively participate in other communication contexts outside the school setting. Speech-language therapists may provide interventions to improve articulation; speech fluency; voice; and/or expressive & receptive language abilities. Services provided by speech-language therapists may include: screening, intervention, evaluation, consultation, and direct therapy.
The primary focus of Occupational Therapy (OT) in the school setting is to enhance a student’s ability to function and participate in an educational program. This may be addressed through activities to increase movement and strength in a student’s use of his/her hands and arms. Sensory and/or sensory/motor activities may also be used to assist in integrating the sensory systems. OT services in the schools may address: fine motor (writing and using scissors), self-help skills (school related eating or dressing), sensory-motor processing (using the senses and muscles), or providing accommodations (adaptive paper, pencil grips, or seat cushions). Services provided by occupational therapists may include: screening, intervention, evaluation, consultation, and direct therapy.
The primary focus of Physical Therapy (PT) in the school setting is to ensure that each student is able to function in their educational setting. Physical Therapy services generally address a child’s posture, muscle strength, mobility, and organization of movement in the educational environment. Physical Therapy services in the schools may address: functional mobility (moving safely through the classroom and school), positioning (sitting appropriately in class), monitor the function, fit, and proper use of mobility aids and devices, and gross motor skills (motor coordination and body awareness). Services provided by physical therapists may include: screening, intervention, evaluation, consultation, and direct therapy.
The primary focus of Vision Services in the school setting is to enhance a student’s ability to function and participate in an educational program. Contracted Teachers of the Visually Impaired review vision reports, confer with doctors and families and interpret this information for the school team. They also can assess a student’s functional vision with regards to his/her educational environment. Teachers of the Visually Impaired may provide services in the school environment such as: use of braille, large print, or other communication adaptations; utilization of residual vision; use of low vision aids, technology, and specialized equipment; and independent living and social interaction skills. Services provided by teachers of the visually impaired may include: screening, intervention, evaluation, consultation, and direct service provision. At this time, Jasper County School District contracts with the South Carolina School for the Deaf and Blind to provide these services to our limited population.
Orientation and Mobility
The focus of Orientation & Mobility services is to work with students who have a visual impairment to travel throughout the school environment safely and efficiently. Instruction in Orientation and Mobility includes techniques for independent travel and progress towards independence in all travel environments. Orientation and Mobility may provide services in the school setting such as: concept development in body awareness and directional/positional awareness; sighted guide techniques; use of low vision aids related to travel skills; and use of a white cane, a telescopic device, or another adaption. Services provided by orientation and mobility staff may include: screening, intervention, evaluation, consultation, and direct therapy. At this time, Jasper County School District contracts with the South Carolina School for the Deaf and Blind to provide these services to our limited population.
Assistive Technology devices are identified in IDEA as "any item, piece of equipment or product system, whether acquired commercially off the shelf, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of children with disabilities." Assistive technology may be considered to explore other means of communication for students who find it difficult to express themselves verbally; using alternative devices or techniques to assist students who find it difficult to use traditional written communication; assisting visually impaired students who find it difficult to read regular print materials; and assisting students in overcoming difficult listening environments, as well as provide devices to help students with hearing impairments function appropriately in their daily communication settings. The need for assistive technology is determined by the student's IEP team. Typically the Jasper County School District asks the South Carolina State Department of Education to conduct an assistive technology assessment to assist in determining what devices may be most appropriate for students with disabilities.
Special Needs Transportation
The State Department of Education, as owner of the special needs transportation (SNT) school buses, files claims for reimbursement on dates when children rode the bus and received medical services listed in their individual education program (IEP). The reimbursement is shared with districts using a formula that accounts for the costs of creating the claims. The Jasper County School District provides door to door service to students with disabilities identified as needing special needs transportation by their IEP team.