Parent Tips on Transition of Equipment

Note: The information in this article is available in Farsi, French, Punjabi, Simplified Chinese and Spanish from the links at the end of the article. 

Students with a disability may need equipment for activities of daily living and learning due to problems with the following:

  • mobility issues (difficulty moving around a room, or using a walker or wheelchair)
  • fine motor skills (finger dexterity or grasp) or
  • gross motor skills (large muscle movements like standing, sitting, rolling)
  • vision (blindness or low vision)
  • hearing (deafness or hard or hearing)
  • sensory disorders (increased or decreased sensations of touch, hearing, sight, smell, movement and body awareness

Special equipment for use at school will be recommended or prescribed by a Regulated Health Professional, including Audiologists, Occupational Therapists, Physiotherapists, or Speech -Language Pathologists. This may include the following equipment:

  • Augmentative or Alternative Communication (AAC) systems or devices, computers and software, communication switches
  • Personal FM system with transmitters
  • Custom seating, lifts, change tables, commode
  • Learning aids, including large print, audio books, writing instruments or adapted keyboards, computers and software
  • Multi-sensory equipment, music, lighting, sound and textures
  • Walkers, wheelchairs, or standing frames

Equipment may need to be considered at each transition point, particularly when starting or changing schools.

Tip 1: Before Starting School:

The school board is responsible for providing and funding of equipment that is required by the child for school only, such as special chairs and desks, changing tables, communication devices, or computers and software.

  • Ask the professionals involved with the student to document what equipment your child will need at school
  • Ask for a transition planning meeting with the Principal and/or other school staff to discuss your child’s equipment needs
  • Invite the professionals, such as Physiotherapists or Speech-Language Pathologists, to attend the transition planning meeting with you, or provide assessment reports

Tip 2: At the Transition Planning Meeting:

Share information and find out:

  • What items of equipment will be needed at school
  • How the equipment will be funded and your role in the funding process
  • Who will provide training for equipment to student and staff
  • How the equipment will be repaired or replaced
  • Where the equipment will be stored and who is responsible for regular maintenance
  • For equipment that will also be used at home, whether there is a need to provide insurance or sign an agreement
  • When equipment be transported to and from school, who will be responsible for transportation and moving equipment on and off the vehicle

Tip3: After equipment is provided:

  • Make sure your child knows how to use equipment safely or is supervised when using the equipment
  • Check with your child or the teacher to find out if there are any problems with the equipment use at school and follow up as necessary
  • Make sure that use of equipment is documented in your child’s Individual Education Plan (IEP), if they have one

Tip 4: Moving from Grade to Grade and from Elementary to High School:

Each time your child makes a move to a different classroom, a new teacher or a new school, equipment should be considered as part of the transition planning.

  • Find out what equipment will stay with your child and be moved to the new class
  • Find out whether any new equipment will be required and what needs to be done by the school or the family
  • Involve your child as much as possible, in decisions about, and responsibility for, equipment

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