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§ 2542. Comprehensive child find system and public awareness program. 1. The commissioner shall develop a comprehensive child find system that ensures that eligible children in the state are identified, located, referred to the early intervention official and evaluated. Such system shall:

(a) require early intervention officials to identify and locate eligible children within their municipality; (b) be coordinated with efforts to identify, locate and track children conducted by other agencies responsible for services to infants and toddlers and their families, including the efforts in (i) part B of the federal individuals with disabilities education act including early childhood direction centers, (ii) the maternal and child health program under title V of the federal social security act, including the infant health assessment program, (iii) medicaid's early periodic screening, diagnosis and treatment program under title XIX of the federal social security act, and (iv) the federal supplemental security income program; and (c) provide for the identification, tracking and screening of children at risk of developmental delay, using resources available through the programs, identified in paragraph (b) of this subdivision and such other available resources as the commissioner shall commit to this purpose. 2. The commissioner shall develop, implement, and maintain a public awareness program to inform the general public and the professional community of the availability of the early intervention program and the benefits of services to infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families. The program shall include materials which describe the normal developmental achievements of young children, identification and procedures for referral of children with disabilities, and how to gain access to early intervention services.

3. The following persons and entities, within two working days of identifying an infant or toddler suspected of having a disability or at risk of having a disability, shall refer such infant or toddler to the early intervention official or the health officer of the public health district in which the infant or toddler resides, as designated by the municipality, unless the child has already been referred: hospitals, child health care providers, day care programs, local school districts public health facilities, early childhood direction centers and such other social service and health care agencies and providers as the commissioner shall specify in regulation.

4. The commissioner shall provide each early intervention official with a list of all approved evaluators and service coordinators in the municipality or geographic area proximate to such municipality or, with respect to the city of New York, subdivisions of the city as

by the commissioner.


Such list of approved evaluators shall be updated at least annually and shall describe the specific areas of expertise of each qualified evaluator, if known.

§ 2543. Service coordinators. 1. Upon referral to the early intervention official of a child thought to be an eligible child by a parent or professional, the early intervention official shall promptly designate an initial service coordinator, selecting whenever appropriate a service coordinator who has an established relationship with the child or family, and shall promptly notify the parent of such designation.

2. The initial service coordinator shall promptly arrange a contact with the parent after such designation, provided that such contact



in a time, place and manner reasonably convenient for the parent and consistent with the timeliness requirements of this title.

§2544. Screening and evaluations. 1. Each child thought to be an eligible child is entitled to a multidisciplinary evaluation, and the early intervention official shall ensure such evaluation, with parental


2. (a) The parent may select an evaluator from the list of approved evaluators as described in section twenty-five hundred forty-two of this title to conduct the evaluation. The parent or evaluator shall immediately notify the early intervention official of such selection. The evaluator may begin the evaluation no sooner than four working days after such notification, unless otherwise approved by the initial service coordinator.

EXPLANATION-Matter in italics is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law

(b) the evaluator shall designate an individual as the principal contact for the multidisciplinary team.

3. (a) To determine eligibility, an evaluator shall, with parental consent, either (i) screen a child to determine what type of evaluation, if any, is warranted, or (ii) provide a multidisciplinary evaluation. In making the determination whether to provide an evaluation, the evaluator may rely on a recommendation from a physician or other qualified person as designated by the commissioner.

(b) If, based upon the screening, a child is believed to be eligible, or if otherwise elected by the parent, the child shall, with the consent of a parent, receive a multidisciplinary evaluation. All evaluations shall be conducted in accordance with the coordinated standards and procedures and with regulations promulgated by the commissioner. 4. The evaluation of each child shall:

(a) be

conducted by personnel trained to utilize appropriate methods

and procedures;

(b) be based on informed clinical opinion;

(c) be made without regard to the availability of services in the municipality or who might provide such services; and

(d) with parental consent, include the following:

(1) a review of pertinent records related to the child's current health status and medical history;

(ii) an evaluation of the child's level of functioning in each of the developmental areas set forth in paragraph (c) of subdivision seven of section twenty-five hundred forty-one of this title;

(iii) an assessment of the unique needs of the child in terms of each of the developmental areas set forth in paragraph (c) of subdivision seven of section twenty-five hundred forty-one of this title, including the identification of services appropriate to meet those needs;


(iv) an evaluation of the transportation needs of the child, if any; (v) such other matters as the commissioner may prescribe in regulation. 5. An evaluation shall not include a reference to any specific provider of early intervention services.

6. Nothing in this section shall restrict an evaluator from utilizing, in addition to findings from his or her personal examination, other examinations, evaluations or assessments conducted for such child, including those conducted prior to the evaluation under this section, if such examinations, evaluations or assessments are consistent with the coordinated standards and procedures.

7. Following completion of the evaluation, the evaluator shall provide the parent and service coordinator with a copy of a summary of the full evaluation. To the extent practicable, the summary shall be provided in the native language of the parent. Upon request of the parent, early intervention official or service coordinator, the evaluator shall provide a copy of the full evaluation to such parent, early intervention official or service coordinator.

8. A parent who disagrees with the results of an evaluation may obtain an additional evaluation or partial evaluation at public expense to the extent authorized by federal law or regulation.

9. Upon receipt of the results of an evaluation, a service coordinator may, with parental consent, require additional diagnostic information regarding the condition of the child, provided, however, that such evaluation or assessment is not unnecessarily duplicative or invasive to the child, and provided further, that:

(a) where the evaluation has established the child's eligibility, such additional diagnostic information shall be used solely to provide additional information to the parent and service coordinator regarding the child's need for services and cannot be a basis for refuting refuting eligibility;

(b) the service coordinator provides the parent with a written explanation of the basis for requiring additional diagnostic information; (c) the additional diagnostic procedures are at no expense to the parent; and

(d) the evaluation is completed and a meeting to develop an IFSP is held within the time prescribed in subdivision one of section twentyfive hundred forty-five of this title.

10. (a) If the screening indicates that the infant or toddler is not an eligible child and the parent elects not to have an evaluation, or if the evaluation indicates that the infant or toddler is not an eligible child, the service coordinator shall inform the parent of other programs

or services that may benefit such child, and the child's family and, with parental consent, refer such child to such programs or services. (b) A parent may appeal a determination that a child is ineligible pursuant to the provisions of section twenty-five hundred forty-nine of this title, provided, however, that a parent may not initiate such appeal until all evaluations are completed.

§ 2545. Individualized family services plans ("IFSP"). 1. If the evaluator determines that the infant or toddler is an eligible child, the early intervention official shall convene a meeting, at a time and place convenient to the parent, consisting of the parent, such official, the evaluator, the initial service coordinator and any other persons who the parent or the initial service coordinator, with the parent's consent, invite, provided that such meeting shall be held no later than forty-five days from the date that the early intervention official was first contacted regarding the child, except under exceptional circumstances prescribed by the commissioner. The early intervention official, at or prior to the time of scheduling the meeting, shall inform the parent of the right to invite any person to the meeting.

2. The early intervention official, initial service coordinator, parent and evaluator shall develop an IFSP for an eligible child whose parents request services. The IFSP shall be in writing and shall include, but not be limited to:

(a) a statement, based on objective criteria, of the infant's or toddler's present levels of physical development, including vision and hearing; cognitive development; communication development; social or emotional development; and adaptive development;


(b) with parental consent, a statement of the family's strengths, priorities and concerns that relate to enhancing the development of infant or toddler;

(c) a statement of (i) the major outcomes expected to be achieved for the child and the family, including timelines*, and (ii) the criteria and procedures that will be used to determine whether progress toward achieving the outcomes is being made and whether modifications or revisions of the outcomes or services are necessary;

(d) a statement of specific early intervention services, including transportation and the mode thereof, necessary to meet the unique needs of the child and the family, including the frequency, intensity, location and the method of delivering services;

(e) a statement of the natural environments, including the home and community settings where children without disabilities participate, in which early intervention services shall appropriately be provided and an explanation of their appropriateness, and, where the child is in day care, a plan for qualified professionals to train the day care provider to accommodate the needs of the child, where appropriate;

(f) a statement of other services, including but not limited to medical services, that are not required under this title but that are needed by the child and the family;

(g) a statement of other public programs under which the child and family may be eligible for benefits, and a referral, where indicated; (h) the projected dates for initiation of services and the anticipated duration of such services;

(i) the name of the service coordinator selected by the parent who will be responsible for the implementation of the IFSP and coordination with other agencies and persons;

(j) the steps to be taken supporting the potential transition of the toddler with a disability to services provided under section forty-four hundred ten of the education law or to other services, to the extent the child is thought to be eligible for such services, including:

(i) discussions with and education of parents regarding potential options and other matters related to the child's transition;

(ii) procedures to prepare the child for changes in service delivery, including steps to help the child adjust to, and function in, a new setting; and

(iii) with parental consent, the transmission of information about the child to the committee on preschool special education, to ensure continuity of services, if appropriate, including evaluation and assessment information and copies of IFSPs.

So in original. ("timelines" should be "timeliness".)

EXPLANATION-Matter in italics is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law

3. In developing the IFSP, consideration shall first be given to provision of transportation by a parent of a child to early intervention services. Other modes of transportation shall be provided if the parent can demonstrate the inability to provide appropriate transportation services.

4. If the early intervention official and the parent agree on the IFSP, the IFSP shall be deemed final and the service coordinator shall be authorized to implement the plan.

5. If the early intervention official and the parent do not agree on an IFSP, the service coordinator shall implement the sections of the proposed IFSP that are not in dispute, and the parent shall have the due process rights set forth in section twenty-five hundred forty-nine of this title.

6. The contents of the IFSP shall be fully explained to the parent, and informed consent from the parent shall be obtained prior to the provision of the early intervention services therein. If the parent does not provide such consent with respect to a particular early intervention service, then only those early intervention services with respect to which consent is obtained shall be provided.

7. The IFSP shall be reviewed at six month intervals and shall be evaluated annually by the early intervention official, service coordinator, the parent and providers of services to the eligible child. Upon request of a parent, the plan may be reviewed by such persons at more frequent intervals.

8. If, at any time, the parent and the service coordinator agree, in writing, that the child has met all the goals set forth in the IFSP or is otherwise no longer in need of services pursuant to this article, the service coordinator shall certify that the child is no longer an eligible child.

9. A parent may, at any time during or after development of the IFSP, select a service coordinator who will become responsible for implement ing the IFSP and who may be different from the initial service coordinator.

§ 2546. Interim services. 1. Early intervention services for an eligible child and the child's family may commence before the completion of the evaluation and assessment in sections twenty-five hundred forty-four and twenty-five hundred forty-five of this title, if the following conditions are met:

(a) Parental consent is obtained;

(b) An interim IFSP is developed that includes: (i) the name of a service coordinator who will be responsible for implementation of the interim IFSP and coordination with other agencies and persons; and (ii) the early intervention services that have been determined to be needed immediately by the child and the child's family; and (c) The evaluation and assessment are completed within forty-five days from the date the early intervention official was first contacted regarding the child. 2. The costs that an approved provider of early intervention services incurs in providing such interim services shall be approved costs to the extent they are otherwise consistent with section twenty-five hundred fifty-five of this title.

§ 2547. Respite services. 1. Subject to the availability of federal funds, the commissioner shall allocate a portion of such funds for respite services for families of eligible children. The commissioner shall establish criteria for selecting families for such services, which may include the severity of the child's disability, the availability of respite services to the family through other programs, and the availability of informal supports to the family.

2. In addition to respite services provided pursuant to subdivision one of this section and subject to the amounts appropriated therefor, the state shall reimburse the municipality for fifty percent of the costs of respite services provided to eligible children and their families with the approval of the local early intervention official.

§ 2548. Transition plan. To the extent that a toddler with a disabil – ity is thought to be eligible for services pursuant to section fortyfour hundred ten of the education law, the early intervention official shall notify in writing the committee on preschool special education of the local school district in which an eligible child resides of the potential transition of such child and, with parental consent ensure that a conference is convened among the service coordinator, the parent and the chairperson of the preschool committee on special education or his or her designee at least ninety days before such child would be

eligible for services under section forty-four hundred ten of the education law to review the child's program options and to establish a transition plan, if appropriate.

§ 2549. Due process. 1. If a parent disagrees with the determination of the evaluator or the local early intervention official with regard to the eligibility for or provision of early intervention services or if such official fails to act within such period of time as may be required by this title or regulations of the commissioner, a parent may make a request in writing for mediation or an impartial hearing to resolve the dispute; provided, however, if a parent elects not to pursue mediation, such election shall not (a) preclude a parent from requesting an impartial hearing or (b) constitute a failure to exhaust administrative remedies.

2. A request for mediation shall be made to the local early intervention official for the municipality in which the child resides. Upon such request, the municipality shall notify a community dispute resolution center designated by the commissioner to provide mediation services for such municipality. The community dispute resolution center shall arrange for the mediation to be conducted at a place and time convenient to the parent. Such mediation shall be at no cost to the parent. If all parties agree to the terms of a mediation agreement, a copy of such agreement shall be forwarded by the community dispute resolution center to the participating parties and the service coordinator who shall incorporate the provisions of such agreement into the IFSP no later than five days after receiving a copy of such agreement. If the parties are unable to reach agreement, in full or in part, the mediator shall inform the parent of the availability of the impartial hearing procedures.

3. A parent may file a written request at any time for an impartial hearing with the commissioner or a designee provided, however, that a request for a hearing to contest a determination that a child is not eligible for services under this title must be made within six months of such determination. Upon receipt of such request, the commissioner, or the designee, shall promptly notify the parent, or a person designated by the parent, and other appropriate parties in accordance with the regulations of the commissioner. Any such notice to the parent shall be provided in the native language of such person whenever practicable and, if not, in a manner to ensure notice to such person and shall include but not be limited to:

(a) the procedural safeguards afforded to a parent;

(b) the date, time and location for the impartial hearing, which shall be reasonably convenient for the parent;

(c) the procedures for the appointment of an impartial hearing officer; and

(d) the right of the parent to appeal the decision of the impartial hearing to a court of competent jurisdiction.

4. After receipt of notice from the commissioner of a parent's request for an impartial hearing, the early intervention official shall promptly notify the parent as to whether the municipality intends to be represented by an attorney at such hearing.

5. The impartial hearing shall be conducted by the hearing officer in accordance with the regulations of the commissioner. The hearing shall be held, and a decision rendered, within thirty days after the department receives the request for an impartial hearing except to the extent that the parent consents, in writing, to an extension. The decision shall be in writing and shall state the reasons for the decision and shall be final unless appealed by a party to the proceeding. A copy of the decision reached by the hearing officer shall be mailed to the parent, any public or private agency that was a party to the hearing, the service coordinator, the department and any state early intervention service agency with an interest in the decision. Where ordered by the hearing officer, the service coordinator shall modify the IFSP in accordance with the decision within five days after such decision.

6. During the pendency of any mediation or impartial hearing conducted pursuant to this section, the child and family shall, with parental consent, receive those early intervention services that are not in dispute or that are provided pursuant to the IFSP previously in effect.

7. (a) All orders or determinations made hereunder shall be subject to review as provided for in article seventy-eight of the civil practice law and rules. In any proceeding under article seventy-eight of the EXPLANATION-Matter in italics is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law

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