Related and Itinerant Services
Related Services are defined by the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) as such developmental, corrective and other supportive services as are required to assist a child with a disability to benefit from special education. Dutchess BOCES provides a variety of both certified and support personnel to special education students enrolled in classes run by Dutchess BOCES (related) as well as in participating district and private schools (itinerant).
The Dutchess BOCES team of related/itinerant services providers consist of highly qualified professionals who are proficient at evaluation, providing support in the classroom, individually, in a group setting or in a consultative model with classroom staff. They support the student’s educational program in a variety of ways, for example:
- Support of curriculum including the concepts involved in the Common Core
- Aid in language development
- Safe and efficient access of the school environment
- Knowledge of technology needed to enhance the student’s participation in his education
They provide assistance to the classroom staff by helping them further understand the unique needs of students with disabilities.
The services outlined below are provided in accordance with each student’s Individual Educational Plan (IEP) and at the discretion of the Committee on Special Education of each participating district.
Assistive Technology • Deaf and Hard of Hearing Program • Speech Services • Visually Impaired Program
The certified ATPs of the Assistive Technology team at Dutchess BOCES will provide both evaluation and direct support at the request of districts to determine which type of technology may best work to improve educational outcomes.
Assistive Technology Evaluation
Dutchess BOCES Assistive Technology specialists will provide a comprehensive evaluation at the request of the student’s school district. The student’s academic team will be asked to complete paperwork that provides the AT specialist with valuable information about the student’s function/needs at school. Upon review of this paperwork, the specialist will observe the student and perform trials with various technology within his/her educational setting. The AT specialist will then interview the educational team. All relevant information gathered will be used to formulate a recommendation to be presented by the AT specialist to the student’s Committee on Special Education for review.
Assistive Technology Support
Upon district request, the Dutchess BOCES Assistive Technology specialists will provide consultation and training to promote the integration and use of technology tools within the academic environment. Follow up support is also provided upon district request, including staff development.
Deaf and Hard of Hearing Program
Dutchess BOCES’ Deaf and Hard of Hearing program provides services for students with hearing loss in a variety of educational settings. This program consists of Teachers of the Deaf (TOD) and Sign Language Interpreters. The unique skill set of the TODs allows them to fully understand the needs of students with hearing loss and ensure that these students are learning in the best possible environment. They are knowledgeable about the most up-to-date technologies, including hearing aids, cochlear implants, BAHAs, FM systems and more.
Specific goals of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Program are as follows:
- Address student needs on an individual basis
- Help students learn and understand their auditory equipment
- Help students to develop language and vocabulary through a variety of modes of communication, specific to their needs
- Provide access to Sign Language Interpreters as needed who will effectively communicate information between staff, classmates and the student with hearing impairment
- Work with students to cover any missed material from the classroom
- Educate classroom teachers and other professionals working with the student
- Present lessons in a more visual format
- Check that the classroom environment is conducive for a child with a hearing loss.
- Help students self advocate
The ultimate goal of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Program is to ensure that each student reaches their greatest potential.
The Speech-Language Providers at Dutchess BOCES work on helping each student develop speech-language skills across multiple contexts in their educational setting. There are many skills which may be addressed through speech-language therapy, and individualized goals are created for each student to target development of specific skills.
- Receptive goals, which help a student to understand language, may include developing vocabulary and understanding of concepts, improving ability to follow directions, improving ability to answer yes/no and “wh” questions, and improving ability to remember and act upon verbally presented information.
- Expressive goals, which help a student to use language to express him/herself, include naming, making requests, formulating sentences, asking and responding to questions, describing and explaining, and participating in conversation.
- Articulation goals, which help a student to produce intelligible speech, include accurately producing and sequencing sounds in words, sentences and conversational speech.
- Social goals, which help a student understand and engage in appropriate behaviors in social situations, include interacting with peers, taking turns, and participating in conversations.
- A student who requires a communication device receives supported guidance and training in functional use and integration of his/her device in all school settings.
- A student with oral-motor needs or feeding needs participates in specific tasks to build awareness, strength, and ability in oral functioning for speaking and chewing/swallowing.
- A student with a reduced repertoire of dietary foods participates in sequential, specific tasks to increase tolerance and acceptance of novel food items.
Educational goals for each student are determined based on individual needs, and serve to maximize the capabilities of the student. Speech-language therapy sessions are structured to help students remain attentive, motivated, and actively engaged in the therapy process.
Visually Impaired Program
Teacher of the Visually Impaired
The Teacher of the Visually Impaired (TVI) understands the unique educational needs and learning characteristics of the visually impaired students. The TVI assists the parents, special and regular education personnel, and the administrators in understanding the needs of the student, assists in acquiring information regarding resources for the visually impaired and interprets the specific eye condition and the educational implications of the visual impairment. She/he consults regularly with the classroom teacher, parents, and other related services personnel to coordinate programs and services for the student. The TVI assists the site administrators and teachers in making environmental adjustments and assists in providing the appropriate educational, technical, and instructional materials needed by the student. In the classroom, the TVI assists the classroom teacher in identifying the instructional areas in which the student requires assistance. She/he provides initial and ongoing assessment and consults with the CSE team in order to assist in providing the development and maintenance of skills to meet the student’s unique educational needs as indicated on the IEP.
Orientation and Mobility
The Orientation and Mobility Specialist works closely with the Teacher of the Visually Impaired to provide needed services in the educational setting. Orientation and Mobility Specialists work with students to enable them to learn to travel safely in familiar and unfamiliar environments. The O&M Specialist instructs the visually impaired student in skills and knowledge that will enable the student to travel as independently and confidently as possible based on the needs and ability of the student. Some of the specific areas of instruction that may be provided by this specialist include: white cane skills, map skills, sighted guide procedures, procedures for crossing streets, travel in residential and commercial areas, sensory skills, spatial concepts, and knowledge of the address system. The Orientation and Mobility Specialist evaluates the student’s progress in order to achieve both short term and long term goals for the development of O&M skills.