FAPE Focus: Interpreters
TEA recently updated the Administrative Code to provide that “All members of the ARD committee must have the opportunity to participate in a collaborative manner in developing the IEP. The school district must take all reasonable actions necessary to ensure that the parent understands the proceedings of the ARD committee meeting, including arranging for an interpreter for parents who are deaf or hard of hearing or whose native language is a language other than English.” This language tracks the language in the IDEA and therefore does not change the responsibility of districts but is a good reminder about the importance of parental participation, especially for parents who speak languages other than English. Additionally, take care to document in the IEP paperwork who provided interpretation services and note in the deliberations the questions and input of the parent at the meeting. Ask yourself: If a hearing officer were reviewing this IEP, would it be clear that the parent understood the meeting and participated?