This will leave Oklahoma to be reaching the bare minimum of reaching regulations of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) states are mandated to provide assistive technology services in schools. Teachers and local schools have been confined budget restraints for many years and relying on these services have come to be a great resource for them.
Along with providing assistive technology consultations the program an extensive loan library of assistive technology has been built for schools to checkout for trial before they purchase the equipment — a huge resource. Without this program this inventory will probably end up in a warehouse collecting dust instead of benefiting students.
Without such a program from the Oklahoma State Department of Education the travesty is going to fall in local districts and ultimately affect the lives of Oklahoma students. Local school districts will have to hire independent private consultants to do the assistive technology consultation — costing outlandish expenses to the schools.
We live in an age where technology has come to be an essential part of human necessity to interact socially, personally, but most of all educationally.
To have the agency entrusted with providing Oklahoma public schools these basic needs not have resources in place is the real travesty and students will be the ones that will suffer the consequences.
As this school year begins there will be no program for assistive technology in the public schools because the Oklahoma State Department of Education failed to see the importance of this needed resource for Oklahoma school children.
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