Advocacy Related Services return to school Virtual Learning

Advocacy News – Related Services Consent Form Updated!

Image is that of a computer desk (light wood) with a white keyboard, yellow notebook and yellow coffee cup - with coffee in it and a pair of white headphones laid out across the image in an arc. In the middle is blue text that reads "Advocacy News." The SEPTA logo is in the bottom right corner, over the computer mouse. -

On August 26, 2020, on behalf of the Fairfax County SEPTA Board and Membership, Diane Cooper-Gould, SEPTA Advocacy Chair, sent a message to Superintendent Brabrand, the FCPS School Board and Acting Assistant Superintendent of Special Services Mike Bloom regarding the Informed Consent for the Use of Multimedia Platform for Related Services Form that had been sent to all parents and guardians of FCPS IEP students receiving related services (i.e. speech, OT, PT) during distance learning.

We voiced concern that item #5 of that form contradicts the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Item #5 of the form states:

5. I understand that I am responsible for the cost of technology associated with receiving Physical, Occupational,and/or Speech-Language Therapy services through virtual visits (e.g., data/internet plans, personal device).

 We are extremely pleased that within 24 hours of Diane’s email being sent,  we received the following response from Acting Assistant Superintendent of the Department of Special Services, Mike Bloom:

Thank you so much for your email.  In immediate response to your request, we have quickly revised our Informed Consent form and have removed #5 completely.  Attached is the revised consent form which we have distributed to all of our related service providers with instructions to begin using the revised form moving forward.  The form has been sent to translation services.  The turnaround time should be fairly quick since the only change was to delete item 5 on the form.  We have instructed our related service providers to cross out item #5 on any translated forms that may be signed in the next day or so while waiting for the translated documents.  Please be assured that FCPS will not refuse or delay any related services to students related to item #5 on a previously signed form, or a signed form where item #5 has been crossed out and signed by a parent.

SEPTA is very happy with the speed with which FCPS has addressed this issue and with the spirit of positive collaboration and cooperation that FCPS has shown in this matter!

The revised Informed Consent Form is attached here:

It can also be found on our website: www.FairfaxCountySEPTA.org on our Distance Learning Resources page.

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