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Chapter 26.5 Interagency Responsibilities for Providing Services to Handicapped Children.   

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(a) A child shall be assessed in all areas related to the suspected disability by those qualified to make a determination of the child's need for the service before any action is taken with respect to the provision of related services or designated instruction and services to a child, including, but not limited to, services in the areas of occupational therapy and physical therapy. All assessments required or conducted pursuant to this section shall be governed by the assessment procedures contained in Article 2 (commencing with Section 56320) of Chapter 4 of Part 30 of Division 4 of Title 2 of the Education Code.

(b) Occupational therapy and physical therapy assessments shall be conducted by qualified medical personnel as specified in regulations developed by the State Department of Health Services in consultation with the State Department of Education.

(c) A related service or designated instruction and service shall only be added to the child's individualized education program by the individualized education program team, as described in Part 30 (commencing with Section 56000) of Division 4 of Title 2 of the Education Code, if a formal assessment has been conducted pursuant to this section, and a qualified person conducting the assessment recommended the service in order for the child to benefit from special education. In no case shall the inclusion of necessary related services in a pupil's individualized education plan be contingent upon identifying the funding source. Nothing in this section shall prevent a parent from obtaining an independent assessment in accordance with subdivision (b) of Section 56329 of the Education Code, which shall be considered by the individualized education program team.

(1) If an assessment has been conducted pursuant to subdivision (b), the recommendation of the person who conducted the assessment shall be reviewed and discussed with the parent and with appropriate members of the individualized education program team prior to the meeting of the individualized education program team. When the proposed recommendation of the person has been discussed with the parent and there is disagreement on the recommendation pertaining to the related service, the parent shall be notified in writing and may require the person who conducted the assessment to attend the individualized education program team meeting to discuss the recommendation. The person who conducted the assessment shall attend the individualized education program team meeting if requested. Following this discussion and review, the recommendation of the person who conducted the assessment shall be the recommendation of the individualized education program team members who are attending on behalf of the local educational agency.

(2) If an independent assessment for the provision of related services or designated instruction and services is submitted to the individualized education program team, review of that assessment shall be conducted by the person specified in subdivision (b). The recommendation of the person who reviewed the independent assessment shall be reviewed and discussed with the parent and with appropriate members of the individualized education program team prior to the meeting of the individualized education program team. The parent shall be notified in writing and may request the person who reviewed the independent assessment to attend the individualized education program team meeting to discuss the recommendation. The person who reviewed the independent

assessment shall attend the individualized education program team meeting if requested. Following this review and discussion, the recommendation of the person who reviewed the independent assessment shall be the recommendation of the individualized education program team members who are attending on behalf of the local agency.

(3) Any disputes between the parent and team members representing the public agencies regarding a recommendation made in accordance with paragraphs (1) and (2) shall be resolved pursuant to Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 56500) of Part 30 of Division 4 of Title 2 of the Education Code.

(d) Whenever a related service or designated instruction and service specified in subdivision (b) is to be considered for inclusion in the child's individualized educational program, the local education agency shall invite the responsible public agency representative to meet with the individualized education program team to determine the need for the service and participate in developing the individualized education program. If the responsible public agency representative cannot meet with the individualized education program team, then the representative shall provide written information concerning the need for the service pursuant to subdivision (c). Conference calls, together with written recommendations, are acceptable forms of participation. If the responsible public agency representative will not be available to participate in the individualized education program meeting, the local educational agency shall ensure that a qualified substitute is available to explain and interpret the evaluation pursuant to subdivision (d) of Section 56341 of the Education Code. A copy of the information shall be provided by the responsible public agency to the parents or any adult pupil for whom no guardian or conservator has been appointed.

(Amended by Stats. 2011, Ch. 43, Sec. 32.)