So...still no ASL interpreter for E. We met Friday (8/26) with the District Director, Asst. Director, Principal, Teacher (we love her), the SLP (Speech Language Pathologists for those not in the know :-)). Of course they started out with...we think we're meeting her needs. To which I replied, if you don't have someone in the room who can interpret her and who can interpret classroom lessons into a language that E can use back, then no you're not. After much back and forth in which the Teacher and SLP admitted that they don't sign 100% of the time, do not know her vocabulary (despite us giving them a list last year that they haven't mastered), that she only really signs to them and doesn't verbalize....the district offered to have the situation evaluated. I asked for what and they made noises like they really want to make sure that the teachers really aren't meeting E.'s needs, but what they really want to know is whether E really signs.
There were many fun moments (like when Big Daddy had the Director so wound up (which is very unlike him...go Tiger Dad!) she looked to the Asst. Dir and asked her to explain what the Director clearly didn't want to answer), but my favorite was when I took the pre-written letter out of my file, signed it and passed it over saying, okay, we're done here, we'll let you know about any evaluation, but in the meanwhile..you've our permission to speak with Xattorney at the Ohio Legal Rights Service (OLRS). That was a nice moment. Then we signed our agreement to the OT/PT goals (we had them reviewed by our private therapists) and clearly wrote our disagreement to speech language (which only have receptive goals listed....somehow E's supposed to magically acquire expressive goals) and requested expressive goals for our next meeting.
So, we're waiting to talk to the OLRS attorney and will move from there. I'm guessing we have to play the delaying game, but maybe not as we have documentation from our private SLP and ENT (which is on the way) stating E's use of sign as her primary form of communication. Given that and the admission from the staff (which we have on tape....highly recommend recording all IEP meetings), and the fact that without someone to interpret in E's primary form of communication they're denying her access to FAPE (she can't access the curriculum without an interpreter), I'm not sure they have too strong a leg to stand on. Will update as we go along.