education pictures
Decision Number
347
Book
28
Month
June
Year
2013
In RE
B.T.
Appellant
Parents of B.T.
Appellee
Community School District and AEA
Summary

Parents challenge the Respondents' denial of their request for vision therapy as a related service under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

Student struggled with reading fluency. She was evaluated and determined eligible to receive special education services. Despite showing progress in her IEP goals, parents requested vision therapy after B.T. was diagnosed with exophoria, suppression, and accommodative insufficiency.

Student's optometrist recommended a course of vision therapy to treat student's condition.

Though educational services for visually impaired have traditionally centered on identification and provision of interventions and accommodations to assist students who are blind or have significant visual impairment, AEA staff researched vision therapy services provided to students in the past and advised that vision therapy was outside the scope of related services.

Respondents argue that because vision therapy is a medical service that must be provided by a licensed physician in a clinical setting, not used for diagnosis or evaluation, it falls outside the scope of the IDEA's definition of what the school, AEA, and/or the Iowa Sight Saving and Braille School should provide.

ALJ finds the Respondents justified in denying the request for vision therapy because it is an excluded medical service, rather than a related service under the IDEA. The Respondents are providing student with a free appropriate public education and are the prevailing parties.