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Betsy Peterson Parent Coordinator West Virginia Department of Education Office of Special Programs Section 504 vs. IEP.

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Presentation on theme: "Betsy Peterson Parent Coordinator West Virginia Department of Education Office of Special Programs Section 504 vs. IEP."— Presentation transcript:

1 Betsy Peterson Parent Coordinator West Virginia Department of Education Office of Special Programs Section 504 vs. IEP

2 Section 504 – What is a disability? The law defines an individual with a disability as one with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities. For students who are eligible under Section 504, schools must make appropriate accommodations to eliminate barriers to the students’ participation in school and school activities. Implementation of Section 504 provides disabled students with the same access to educational opportunities provided to their non-disabled peers and supports them in achieving positive health and educational outcomes.

3 Section 504 Section 504 is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities. Section 504 ensures that the child with a disability has equal access to an education. The child may receive accommodations and modifications. Unlike the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Section 504 does not require the school to provide an individualized educational program (IEP) that is designed to meet the child's unique needs and provides the child with educational benefit. Under Section 504, fewer procedural safeguards are available to children with disabilities and their parents than under IDEA.Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)

4 Section 504 Section 504 defines "physical or mental impairment" as: Any physiological disorder or condition, cosmetic disfigurement, or anatomical loss affecting one or more of the following body systems: neurological; musculoskeletal; special sense organs; respiratory, including speech organs; cardiovascular; reproductive; digestive; genitor-urinary; hemic and lymphatic; skin; and endocrine, Or, any mental or psychological disorder, such as mental retardation, organic brain syndrome, emotional or mental illness, and specific learning disabilities.

5 Section 504 "Major life activity" means functions such as: caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, and/or working. The school-based 504 team can look to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) for guidance. The ADA protects the rights of disabled individuals in the workplace and states that an individual is "substantially limited" by a disability if, He/she is unable to perform a major life activity that the average person in the general population can perform, or He/she is significantly restricted as to the condition, manner, or duration under which the average person in the general population can perform the same major life activity.

6 Section 504 The school 504 team is charged with applying the definition criteria above and determining whether or not a student has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity. The team must answer three questions: Does the student have a physical or mental impairment? Does the impairment impact one or more major life activities? Does the impairment substantially limit one or more major life activities?

7 Section 504 When students are identified, assessed, and determined to be eligible for accommodations under Section 504, the school 504 team must create an individual accommodation plan (IAP or 504 Plan). Section 504 does not outline specific plan components, but suggests that the plan should be written. The key elements of an individual accommodation plan are strategies based on the student’s individual needs that will enable the student to access a free and appropriate education in the least restrictive environment. Accommodations under Section 504 may include related aids and services, such as school health services, and may include specialized instruction.

8 Section 504 School districts have inconsistently implemented the requirements of Section 504: No funding attached to the law and interpretation of the law and its requirements were initially unclear. Passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990 heightened the awareness of school districts and parents of children with disabilities, who both became increasingly aware that Section 504 could offer certain protections and opportunities for disabled students. School districts are now more informed of their obligations under Section 504, and so are parents, who have begun to request that schools provide appropriate accommodations for their children. Some students with disabilities still are subjected to discrimination in public schools, particularly in communities where parents have fewer resources and less information is available to them.

9 Section 504 Section 504 implies best practice for schools: Policy and procedures for determining eligibility and developing 504 Plans for eligible students, Well-informed, collaborative 504 teams, Procedures for meeting special needs of students with impairments who do not qualify for a 504 Plan

10 Section 504 Questions Does a Child Need an IEP AND a 504 Plan? There is nothing in the law that says a child with a disability should have an IEP for some needs and a 504 plan for others. It’s confusing, it’s more work, and it’s unnecessary. Does a Child Need an IEP AND a 504 Plan? My School Doesn't Do 504s. Will a Child Study Plan Work? Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act is a federal civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities. Compliance is not optional. My School Doesn't Do 504s. Will a Child Study Plan Work? When Schools Punish Sick Children Who Miss School. Public schools are required by law to accommodate the health needs of students. The plan to accommodate health needs may be called a health plan or a 504 plan When Schools Punish Sick Children Who Miss School.

11 Section 504 Questions How Can I File a Section 504 Complaint? You should let OCR know which school, college or other institution you are complaining about, the person(s) who has been discriminated against, when the discrimination occurred, and you should sign and date the letter and let us know how we can reach you by phone and letter so that we can contact you. If filing on-line, you will still need to provide an original signature by mail, which may be done by printing and mailing a "Consent Form" linked from the bottom of the on-line complaint form. How Can I File a Section 504 Complaint? html html

12 Questions?

13 Individualized Education Program (IEP) What is an IEP? a product of collaboration between a parent or adult student and educators who, through full and equal participation, identifies the unique needs of a student with a disability or giftedness and plan the special education and related services to meet those needs. It sets forth in writing a commitment of resources necessary to enable the student to receive needed special education and related services. In addition, the

14 What is an IEP? IEP is a management tool that is used to ensure that each eligible student is provided special education and related services appropriate to the student’s special learning needs. It serves as an evaluation device for use in determining the extent of the student’s progress toward meeting the projected outcomes. The IEP is a compliance/monitoring document that may be used by authorized monitoring personnel from each governmental level to determine whether an eligible student is actually receiving the free appropriate public education agreed to by the parents and the school.

15 How do I get one for my child? You must request an evaluation for Special Education and Related Services.

16 How Long will the evaluation take? Parents must give permission to evaluate the student Evaluations may take up to 80 days from the date the parent signed permission

17 What happens NEXT? After the evaluations and Eligibility Committee meeting will be held Discuss Evaluations Formal and informal assessments Parent input Teacher input Determine if the student meets the eligibility criteria in one of the designated exceptionalities; Experiences an adverse effect on educational performance; and Needs specially designed instruction

18 What about the IEP!!! The IEP is written AFTER the Eligibility Committee (EC) Can be RIGHT after the EC meeting or Within 30 days of the EC and Before the initiation of services

19 IEP Individualized Education Program (IEP) 30 days after a student is determined eligible for services Present Levels of Educational Performance (PLEPs) Measurable goals Special education services Related Services An explanation of the extent to which your student will NOT participate with non-exceptional peers A statement explaining HOW the student will participate in the statewide testing program. The date when services are to begin and how they will continue. A statement of how and when parents will be informed of progress toward annual goals. Signatures of all those ATTENDING the meeting.

20 Is that IT??? NO!!! IEP MUST be updated annually OR if anyone on the IEP team thinks something is not working Put a request in writing to the student’s teacher A meeting will be scheduled or Prior Written Notice will be provided as to why the meeting will not be scheduled

21 Questions?

22 RESOURCES WV Parent Training and Information – Office of Special Programs – or Wright’s Law - Office for Civil Rights - National Association of School Nurses -

23 More Resources West Virginia Department of Education Office of Special Programs 1900 Kanawha Boulevard, East Building 6 Room 304 Charleston, WV

24 More Resources West Virginia Parent Training and Information Center Mountain State Parents CAN West Virginia Advocates

25 Thank You!!!


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