4217 Effective Communication

  • In compliance with federal and state law, all District-sponsored programs, activities, meetings, and services will be accessible to individuals with disabilities, including persons with hearing, vision, and/or speech disabilities.  When communicating in this context with students, families, applicants, participants, members of the public, and their companions with disabilities, the District will take appropriate steps to ensure that any communications are as effective as communications with persons who have no disabilities. Such steps will include furnishing in a timely manner appropriate auxiliary aids and services when necessary to afford an individual with a disability an equal opportunity to participate in, and enjoy the benefits of, programs, activities, meetings, or services conducted or sponsored by the District. The information contained within the District’s website is a service that will be accessible to all individuals with disabilities.

    When an IDEA-eligible or a Section 504-eligible student’s disability impacts their hearing, vision or speech, the school will apply both a FAPE (free and appropriate public education) analysis and the effective communication requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (Title II) in determining how to meet the student’s communication needs and how to formulate the student’s individual education program (IEP).  

    For families, applicants, participants, members of the public, and their companions, the District’s website will provide information on how to request auxiliary aids and services, ask related questions, or raise concerns. When necessary and upon request, such information will also be provided in an accessible format for the requestor at no cost. A form for requesting auxiliary aids and services will be available on the District website and at the District office. When determining an appropriate auxiliary aid or service, the District or school will give primary consideration to the auxiliary aid or service specifically requested by the person with a disability.  

    For purposes of this policy, “auxiliary aids and services” include a wide range of services, devices, technologies, and methods for providing effective communication, and may include:

    1. Effective methods of making aurally-delivered information available to individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing, such as:
      • qualified interpreters (on-site or through video remote interpreting services)
      • note-takers
      • real-time computer-aided transcription services (“CART”)
      • written materials
      • the exchange of written notes
      • telephone handset amplifiers
      • assistive listening devices
      • assistive listening systems
      • telephones compatible with hearing aids
      • closed caption decoders
      • open and closed captioning, including real-time captioning
      • voice, text, and video-based telecommunications products and systems, including text telephones (TTYs), videophones, and captioned telephones, or equally effective telecommunications devices
      • videotext displays
      • accessible electronic and information technology

    1. Effective methods of making visually-delivered information available to individuals with visual impairments, such as:
      • qualified readers
      • taped texts
      • audio recordings
      • Brailled materials and displays
      • screen reader software
      • magnification software
      • optical readers
      • secondary auditory programs (SAP)
      • large print materials
      • accessible electronic and information technology

    1. Effective methods of enabling a person with a speech disability to communicate with the school or District personnel, such as:
      • a word or letter board
      • writing materials
      • spelling to communicate
      • a qualified sign-language interpreter
      • taped texts
      • a computer
      • a portable device that writes and/or produces speech
      • telecommunication devices

         4.  Acquisition or modification of equipment or devices; and
         5.  Other similar services and actions. 

    Auxiliary aids and services will be provided for any school-initiated program, activity, meeting, or service, which may include:

    • Parent/teacher conferences
    • ESE/IEP/504 meetings
    • Conferences or hearings involving student corrective action
    • Planning meetings
    • Interviews for District employment
    • Staff Meetings
    • Interactive meetings regarding accommodations
    • Graduation ceremonies
    • Field Trips
    • School Performances or Sporting Events
    • Board Meetings
    • Website information, including on-line information regarding curriculum, policies, and Board materials and agendas.
    • Reports of student grades and academic progress
    • Parental alerts regarding school closures or events

    Cross References:   
    Board Policy 2161                     Performance goals – Reporting Requirements
    Board Policy 2162
    Board Policy 3210

    Legal References:
    Chapter 28A.642 RCW             Discrimination prohibition
    Chapter 49.60 RCW                  Discrimination – Human rights commission
    WAC 392-400-215                     Student rights
    42 U.S.C. 12131-12134            Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) (Title II)
    28 C.F.R. part 35                        Nondiscrimination on the basis of disability in state and local government services
    29 U.S.C. 794                              Section 504 Rehabilitation Act of 1973
    34 C.F.R. part 104                     Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
    20 U.S.C. 1400-1419                Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Part B
    34 C.F.R. part 300                     Assistance to states for the education of children with disabilities

    Management Resources: 
    Policy & Legal News              March 2016 

    ADOPTED: 5/10/2018
    REVISED:

    Procedure No. 4217P Effective Communication
    The District is committed to ensuring that all District-sponsored programs, activities, meetings, and services will be accessible to individuals with disabilities, including persons who have impaired hearing, vision or speech.  The following procedure is intended to assist the District in taking appropriate steps to ensure that, related to such programs, activities, meetings, or services, any communication with students, families, applicants, participants, members of the public, and their companions with disabilities are as effective as communications with persons who have no disabilities. There is no fee or charge for the District to provide appropriate auxiliary aids or services.

    Requesting Communication Aids or Services for a Program, Activity, or Event

    Individuals who may need an auxiliary aid or service to participate in and enjoy the benefits of a program, activity, meeting, or event should contact the school or District office as soon as possible and no later than forty-eight (48) hours before a scheduled program or activity so that the District can make necessary arrangements. The District will make reasonable efforts to accommodate any requests made less than forty-eight (48) hours in advance of a program, activity, meeting, or event. For auxiliary aids or services specifically during a meeting of the Board of Directors, the request should be made directly to the office of the Superintendent.

    The District’s website provides information on how to request auxiliary aids and services, ask related questions, or raise concerns. The following is the site for this information:  www.ycs.wednet.edu

    If a person with a disability cannot access this format, this information will also be provided in an accessible format when necessary and upon request.

    A form for requesting auxiliary aids and services is on the District website. While it is not required that this form be used to make such a request, this written form will minimize miscommunication and help the District understand the specific auxiliary aids or services being requested. District staff will also assist a requestor in filling out this form, when necessary.

    Determining an Appropriate Auxiliary Aid or Service

    When the District provides an auxiliary aid or service necessary to ensure effective communication, the aid or service must be provided in an accessible format, in a timely manner, and in such a way as to protect the privacy and independence of any person with a disability.  Determining an appropriate auxiliary aid or service must be individualized and made on a case-by-case basis, considering the communication used by the person with a disability; the nature, length and complexity of the communication involved; the content and the context in which the communication is taking place; the number of people involved in the communication; and the expected or actual length of time of the interaction(s). During this process, the District or school will give primary consideration to the auxiliary aid or service specifically requested by the person with a disability. “Primary consideration” means that the District will provide an opportunity for the person with the disability (or an appropriate family member) to request the aid or service that they think is needed to provide effective communication.  

    The District or school will honor the choice of the person with a disability unless:

    1. the District or school can prove that an alternative auxiliary aid or service provides communication that is equally as effective as communication provided to a student without a disability; or
    2. the District determines that such aid or service would result in a fundamental alteration in the nature of the service, program, or activity, or would result in an undue financial and administrative burden to the District.

     If the District refuses to provide a particular auxiliary aid or service for the reasons stated in number (2.) above, such determination must be made by the Superintendent or the Superintendent’s designee who has the authority to make budgetary and spending decisions, after considering all resources available for use by the District in the funding and operation of the service, program, or activity. This determination must be issued in writing with the reasons for concluding that a requested auxiliary aid or service would cause such alteration or burden.  Nevertheless, the District must take other steps that would not result in such an alteration or burden, but would still ensure that, to the maximum extent possible, the individual with a hearing, vision, or speech disability can participate in and receive the benefits or services provided by the District’s program or activity. 

    If the District provides an auxiliary aid or service that is different than what is requested by the individual with a disability, the District will make a reasonable effort to provide notice to the requester in advance of the program, activity, meeting, or activity.

    The District recognizes that communication and circumstances can change or evolve over time. If the communication with the person with a disability takes place over an extended period of time, the District or school should reassess the effectiveness of communications and seek regular feedback from the person with a disability.

    Timely Manner

    The District will determine an appropriate auxiliary aid or service as soon as possible following a request by a person with a disability, and will likewise provide the auxiliary aid or service as soon as practicable. The District or school personnel working with the person with a disability (or an appropriate family member) will keep that person informed of when the auxiliary aid or service will be provided.  

    Interpreters

    For purposes of this policy, a “qualified interpreter” means an interpreter who, via a video remote interpreting (VRI) service or an on-site appearance, is able to interpret effectively, accurately, and impartially, both receptively and expressively, using any necessary specialized vocabulary.  Qualified interpreters include sign language interpreters, oral transliterators, and cured-language transliterators. Interpreters certified to provide interpretation in court proceedings or during the delivery of health services are presumptively qualified to provide such services. 

    Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act expressly prohibits the school or District from requiring an individual with a disability to bring another person to interpret for them. The District is prohibited from relying upon a person who accompanies a child or adult with a hearing, vision, or speech disability to interpret or facilitate communication except under two circumstances:

    1. In an emergency involving an imminent threat to the safety or welfare of an individual or the public where there is no interpreter available, the school or the District may ask either a minor child or an adult to interpret or facilitate communication. In no other circumstances will the school or the District rely on a minor child to interpret or facilitate communication with a person with a disability. 
    2. Where the individual with the hearing, vision, or speech disability specifically makes the request, an accompanying adult may interpret or facilitate communication if the accompanying adult agrees to provide the assistance and the school’s reliance on the accompanying adult is appropriate under the circumstances.

     Complaints and Compliance

    The District has an ADA Coordinator who monitor’s the District’s obligations and compliance with Title II, and who is charged with investigating complaints of disability discrimination. Informal or formal complaints of disability discrimination should be made pursuant to the processes contained in Procedure 3210P (Nondiscrimination). Questions and concerns relating to communication with persons with hearing, vision, and/or speech disabilities may be directed to: 

    ADA Coordinator for Title II
    PO Box 476
    Yelm, WA 98597
    (360) 458-1900

    ADOPTED:  5/10/2018
    REVISED: