Related Services is defined as special services other than regular teaching that children may need to function effectively in school. OCM BOCES can provide these services for students in our programs, as well as on an "as needed" basis to support our component districts. These "related services only" students will be visited in their home school building and will be provided therapies as requested by the home district. Students in BOCES programs will be provided the services indicated on their IEP.
Comprehensive school based audiology services are non-medical in nature and include identification, assessment, (re)habilitation, in-service support and management for children with listening and/or hearing difficulties. These services may include establishing candidacy for, fitting, and providing ongoing support for hearing assistance technology as well as serving as a liaison between parents, clinical service providers and the academic team. The educational audiologist has a unique understanding of school based issues and can assist the educational team in comprehending the link between hearing, language and learning, ensuring students have adequate access to auditory information in the academic environment.
Itinerant Teachers of the Deaf
The Itinerant Teacher of the Deaf serves as a liason between school staff and parents to assist in meeting each students' unique needs. The teacher will set up and monitor personal hearing aids, cochlear implants, and FM systems. They will help to identify and train the person most appropriate to conduct a daily check of the equipment and guide the classroom staff in how to use the equipment effectively. Teachers of the Deaf can also be helpful in providing parents with information on local resources, agencies and organizations that might help them as a family.
Occupational therapy is a therapy or treatment provided by an occupational therapist that helps an individual's developmental or physical skills that will aid in daily living. It focuses on the use of hands and fingers, on coordination of movement, on self-help skills, such as dressing and eating. Many students require this therapy to gain independence in hand writing and other classroom related tasks. In some of our classrooms occupational therapists also provide sensory integration therapy as well as work on play skills and social skills.
Orientation and Mobility Services
Orientation and mobility specialists teach people who are blind or visually impaired the skills or concepts they need to travel independently and safely at home, in the classroom, in their communities, or wherever they many want to go. Orientation and mobility instruction is a sequential process in which visually impaired individuals are taught to utilize their remaining senses to determine their position within their environment and negotiate safe movement from one place to another.
Physical therapy services are designed to promote strong gross motor and balance skills. A physical therapist helps children with physical, developmental or neurological disabilities, musculoskeletal problems or cardiopulmonary diagnoses. Their main emphasis is on impairments of movement that lead to functional limitations.
For students in BOCES programs, these services will be provided as indicated on the student's IEP. Arrangements for "related services only" students are made through the office responsible for coordinating student services in the student's school district. Prescriptions clearly indicating the student's diagnosis and the period of time these services are to be provided must be received by BOCES before any services can be rendered.
The purpose of speech therapy is to enhance intentional communication via expression of ideas, obtaining desires, sharing information and personal interaction. Language is the means by which communication is achieved. Speech-language pathologists assist children who have communication disorders in various ways. They provide individual therapy for the child, consult with the classroom teacher about the most effective way to facilitate the child's communication in the classroom setting, and work closely with the family to develop goals and techniques for effective therapy in class and at home.
Teachers of the Visually Impaired
Teachers of the visually impaired provide direct and consultative services to and for visually impaired children in order to assure maximum growth in all developmental areas. Services may include an evaluation and assessment, direct instruction, counseling, and liaison with parents and regular classroom teachers. TVI's provide direct instruction specifically in the areas of special curriculum such as Braille reading and writing, and utilization of low vision devices.