Presentation on theme: "Section 504 & the ADAAA: How Changes in the Law Impact Your Child with a Disability or Special Health Care Need Section 504 & the ADAAA: How Changes."— Presentation transcript:
1 Section 504 & the ADAAA: How Changes in the Law Impact Your Child with a Disability or Special Health Care NeedSection 504 & the ADAAA: How Changes in the Law Impact Your Child with a Disability or Special Health Care Need2011Prepared by the National Parent Technical Assistance Center – The ALLIANCE at PACER CenterPACER Center8161 Normandale Blvd.Minneapolis, MN 55437Special thanks to Gretchen Godfrey, NPTAC, for preparing this curriculum.Thank you to all who reviewed this curriculum and provided feedback and suggestions, including the Regional Parent Technical Assistance Centers and other individuals. Special thanks to Diana Autin, Region 1 Parent Technical Assistance Center at SPAN, and Courtney Salzer, Region 4 Parent Technical Assistance Center at WI FACETS, for their input into the development of this curriculum, including sharing their Parent Centers’ PowerPoint presentations, workshop activities, and resources on this topic.The contents of this publication were developed under a grant from the U.S. Department of Education, # H328R However, those contents do not necessarily represent the policy of the US Department of Education, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government. While permission to reprint this publication is not necessary, the citation should be:National Parent Technical Assistance Center (2011). Section 504 & the ADAAA: How Changes in the Law Impact Your Child with a Disability or Special Health Care Need, Minneapolis MN, PACER Center.
2 Training Agenda Legal Background Section 504 & Public Schools Overview 504 Evaluation504 Plan & ServicesProcedural SafeguardsThis bulleted list includes each section of this PowerPoint. Adjust this slide as necessary based on the particular agenda for each training.You may wish to begin by asking how many in the audience are parents and how many are professionals. You can also ask how many parents have children who are currently on a 504 plan, how many are wondering if their child should be on a 504 plan, etc.
4 What is Section 504?Part of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, a national civil rights lawIt prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability by any program or activity (including schools) that receive federal financial assistanceThe term “Section 504” refers to a specific part of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, a broad national civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities by any program or activity that receives federal funding. This includes all public schools and any private schools that receive federal funds. In addition to protecting school-age children, Section 504 also ensures nondiscrimination of people with disabilities of all ages in other federally funded programs such as postsecondary education, health care, and housing.The complete Section 504 Regulations (34 C.F.R. § 104) can be found online:
5 What Section 504 Says“No otherwise qualified individual with a disability in the United States shall, solely by reason of her or his disability,be excluded from the participation in,be denied the benefits of, orbe subjected to discriminationunder any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”This slide includes the exact language found in federal statute that is the basis for Section 504 protections for students with disabilities:“No otherwise qualified individual with a disability in the United States shall, solely by reason of her or his disability— be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.” (29 U.S.C. § 794)The phrase “no otherwise qualified individual” means that a person must meet all other requirements for participating in a program in order to be protected against discrimination on the basis of his or her disability.For example, parents of a 4-year old with autism wanted to enroll him in their local public elementary school for kindergarten. The school denied the request. The parents wanted to file a discrimination complaint against the school for refusing to accept their child with a disability. However, since the child was only 4, he did not meet the program requirements which required kindergartners to be at least 5 years old at the start of the school year. Therefore the child did not meet the definition of “otherwise qualified” and was not protected under Section 504 in this case.
6 Related Laws: IDEA* and Section 504 Both may provide services and protections to students with disabilitiesAll students found to be eligible under IDEA are also protected by Section 504, but not all students protected by Section 504 are eligible under IDEAIf a parent revokes consent for their child to receive special education services under IDEA, the student may still be eligible for a Section 504 plan and protections*Individuals with Disabilities Education ActWhen people think about educating students with disabilities, the first thing that may come to mind is the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Although students can receive accommodations, related services, and special education under both Section 504 and IDEA, the two laws vary in a number of important ways that will be explained further later in the presentation. Some of the key legal differences are:IDEA is a federal statute that provides funds to state special education programs on the condition that the specific requirements outlined in IDEA are followed. Section 504 prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability but does not provide any type of funding. Entities that received federal financial assistance must agree to comply with Section 504 as a condition of receiving funding.The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) enforces schools’ compliance with Section 504. The state education agency enforces districts’ compliance with IDEA with regard to individual students.If a parent chooses to revoke consent to the provision of special education services for their child under IDEA, the student may still be eligible to receive services under Section 504. In that case, the parent would need to request a Section 504 evaluation.Many students with disabilities are protected under both IDEA and Section 504, and districts may comply with certain 504 requirements by following IDEA procedures. Although all students who receive special education services under IDEA are protected by Section 504, not all students protected under 504 qualify for IDEA services. Also, if a student is receiving special education services under IDEA, there is no reason to also have a 504 plan.
7 IDEA-eligible students IDEA/504 DiagramAll StudentsStudents with disabilities504-eligible studentsThis diagram helps explain the interaction between the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the student population as a whole. Note that the size of the circles is not meant to proportionally represent the size of the student population that fits into each of the categories.The bright blue circle in the background represents ALL students in the school district. The next largest green circle represents all students with disabilities or impairments. The next light blue circle indicates the group of students who qualify to receive Section 504 services. Remember the definition for this group is that the individual must have an impairment that substantially limits a major life activity. The smallest dark blue circle represents students eligible to receive services under IDEA. To be eligible for services under IDEA, a child must be determined to have one of the disabilities included in the IDEA statute and, because of that disability, need special education or related services. This distinction is especially important for children with health-related disabilities who may need accommodations to allow for medication administration, etc., but may not be showing any academic impact of their disability.There are some important things to note in this diagram:Not all students with disabilities or impairments qualify for services or protections under 504 or IDEA. As stated earlier in the presentation, a medical diagnosis is not enough to determine eligibility. A full evaluation must be conducted to determine a student’s eligibility under Section 504 or IDEA.Although not all students eligible under Section 504 qualify under IDEA, all students receiving special education services under IDEA do qualify for protection under Section 504. The requirements under IDEA are more stringent than those for 504.IDEA-eligible students
8 Side-by-Side Comparison Section 504IDEAFunding?NoFederal & StateEligibility DeterminationGeneral disability definitionDisability categories & need for special education and related servicesEvaluationsInitial & “periodic”Initial & triannualFAPENeeds met as adequately as those without disabilitiesIndividualized educational program from which child receives educational benefitPlan504 PlanIEP in writingEnforcementOffice for Civil RightsState Education AgencyThe chart on this slide further outlines some of the differences between Section 504 and IDEA.Funding: Section 504 does not authorize any funding to states or school districts to provide services needed by students under Section 504. IDEA, however, is a funding statute, which means that state and local education agencies must ascribe to IDEA provisions in order to receive the related funding. IDEA services are funded by a combination of state and federal funding.Eligibility Determination: The definition of an eligible child with a disability is different under Section 504 and IDEA. The IDEA eligibility criteria is more strict than Section 504.Evaluations: IDEA regulations are much more detailed regarding evaluations. In addition to the initial evaluation, reevaluations must occur at least every three years (unless the parent and school agree that it is not necessary). Under Section 504, only “periodic” reevaluation is required. OCR has interpreted that to mean that reevaluation is required whenever there is to be a significant change in placement or level of service (including termination of services).FAPE: Although both Section 504 and IDEA require that a child with a disability receive a Free Appropriate Public Education, or FAPE, the definition of FAPE is different between the two laws. Under Section 504, FAPE means that the needs of qualified children with disabilities are met as adequately as the needs of children without disabilities. The focus is primarily on equal access. Under IDEA, FAPE means that students with disabilities receive an individualized education program that meets the students’ unique needs, provides access to the general curriculum, meets grade-level standards, and from which the child receives educational benefit. The inclusion of “educational benefit” is an especially important distinction between the two laws.Plan: A written plan is not required under Section 504 regulations, but OCR considers it to be best practice to ensure all parties understand has been agreed to in order to ensure equal access to the student with a disability. Under IDEA, a written Individualized Educational Program (IEP) is required.Enforcement: The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) enforces schools’ compliance with Section 504. The state education agency enforces districts’ compliance with IDEA with regard to individual students.
9 Related Laws: Section 504 & Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA) of 2008 ADAAA prohibits discrimination of people with disabilities by:All qualifying private employers (Title I)All state and local government programs, including the public schools (Title II), andAll places of public accommodation, including non-religiously controlled colleges and universities and test agencies (Title III)Section 504 preceded enactment of ADAAA and has generally been used as basis for disability discrimination protection in schoolsCourts and Office for Civil Rights (OCR) indicate that schools should follow 504 regulations to comply with ADAAA Title IIThe Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA) is also a federal civil rights law passed in 2008 prohibiting discrimination against individuals with disabilities. The ADAAA extends protections beyond federally funded programs and also applies to certain employers, state and local government programs, and places of public accommodation.Title II of the ADAAA, like Section 504, protects students with disabilities from discrimination. However, Title II does not include the same level of detail as previously developed Section 504 regulations that relate to the education of students with disabilities (e.g., in providing students a free appropriate public education (FAPE)).The Office for Civil Rights and the courts have interpreted the requirements of both ADAAA Title II and Section 504 consistently. This means that in order to comply with Title II of the ADAAA, schools should follow the requirements and regulations that have been outlined for Section 504. (Mills, 2010)The Americans with Disabilities Act was amended by the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA), which became effective on January 1, The Amendments Act requires the definition of “disability” to be interpreted broadly.A copy of the ADAAA in its entirety is available at:
10 ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA) Requires that the definition of disability be interpreted broadlyThe new definition of disability in the ADAAA must be used when determining Section 504 eligibilityPrior to the enactment of the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act, U.S. Supreme Court decisions had begun to narrow the way “disability” was defined. The ADAAA regulations clarified that disability is to be interpreted broadly.The ADAAA and Section 504 are interpreted together. Because of this, the updated definition of disability in the ADAAA must be used when a student’s eligibility is determined under Section 504.---The following information is not critical to the presentation but may be provided depending on the audience.The two primary U.S. Supreme Court cases narrowing the definition of disability were:Sutton v. United Airlines (1999): This case ruled that, in determining whether a person has a disability under the ADA, any measures taken to control the effects of the person's impairment - such as medication, corrective devices, therapeutic services, or other accommodations that enabled the person to function “normally” – must be considered in determining if that person had a disability.Toyota Motors v. Williams (2002): As a result of this decision, a person’s overall functioning had to be affected by impairment of the particular major life activity, not just the activity itself. The decision also rejected protections for persons whose disability or symptoms were in remission.
11 Person with a Disability: ADAAA/504 Definition Does the student:have a physical or mental impairment*which substantially limitsone or more major life activities?*or has a record of having an impairment or is regarded as having an impairmentSection 504 defines “disability” as a person who (1) has an impairment that (2) substantially limits the student’s ability to perform (3) one or more major life activities. In order to qualify as a person with a disability who may be entitled to Section 504 services, a student must meet all three parts of the disability definition.The disability definition also includes someone who has a record of having such an impairment or is regarded as having an impairment. (See 34 C.F.R. § 104.3(j)). Students who have a record of having an impairment or are regarded as having an impairment are not eligible for FAPE or Section 504 services but are prohibited from discrimination on the basis of disability. For example, if a student was mistakenly considered to have AIDS, he or she would be prohibited against discrimination based on that false assumption. However, the student would not be eligible for any services because he or she would not actually have a disability.The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has also further defined the definition of a “qualified” student with a disability by adding that a protected elementary or secondary student must be:the age at which students without disabilities are provided elementary and secondary educational services;the age at which state law mandates elementary and secondary educational services to students with disabilities; ora student to whom a state is required to provide a free appropriate public education under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).This would mean that if a state provided universal preschool services to all students, that preschoolers with disabilities would be protected by Section 504.(U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights. (2011, March). Frequently asked questions about Section 504 and the education of children with disabilities. Retrieved from – See Q. 12 & 13
12 504/ADAAA Disability Definition Part 1: Impairment Any physiological condition that affects a bodily system, or any mental or psychological disorderUnder Section 504, an impairment is a physiological condition that affects a bodily system. The precise definition of physical or mental impairment from the Section 504 regulations is:(A) 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; genito-urinary; hemic and lymphatic; skin; and endocrine; or(B) any mental or psychological disorder, such as mental retardation, organic brain syndrome, emotional or mental illness, and specific learning disabilities.(34 C.F.R. § 104.3(j)(2)(i))Section 504 does not provide a list of specific diseases or conditions that qualify as an impairment. Some examples of disabilities that may qualify a student for services through Section 504 include (but are not limited to): cerebral palsy, epilepsy, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, HIV/AIDS, dyslexia, dysgraphia, rheumatoid arthritis, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADD/ADHD), cystic fibrosis, severe allergies, and asthma.Having an impairment is only the first part of qualifying under Section 504 as a student with a disability. The next few slides will outline the additional requirements that the impairment must substantially limit one or more major life activities.
13 504/ADAAA Disability Definition Part 2: Substantial Limitation More than material limitation but less than severe limitation (Look to condition, manner, duration)Mitigating measures may not be considered (hearing aids, medication, etc.)Includes substantially limiting impairments that may be episodic or go into remission (cancer, depression, etc.)The second part of the Section 504 disability definition is “substantially limits.” “Substantially limits” is one part of the definition of disability that was impacted by the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA) of 2008.According to the updated definition, the term “substantially limits” means more than “materially” limits but less than “severely” limits. In order to determine the level of limitation, one should consider the condition, manner, and duration of the impairment. The nature of the impairment, the severity of its impact on an individual, and the expected length of time the impairment may affect the individual must all be taken into account. For example, an allergy that causes a rash would probably not be considered “substantial,” but an allergy causing anaphylactic shock likely would.The ADAAA clarified two important points that broaden and help clarify the definition of disability under Section 504:The first point relates to mitigating measures. “Mitigating measures” are factors that decrease the impact of a disability, such as medications, hearing aids, prosthetic limbs, and other aids used to manage an impairment. Before the ADAAA, mitigating measures were considered when school districts determined whether or not a student had a disability. For example, if a student with diabetes effectively managed his or her condition with insulin, she would not be considered to have a disability. The ADAAA, however, states that a disability determination should be made without looking at how the impairment is affected by measures made to lessen its effect (42 U.S.C. § 12102(4)(E)). Examples of mitigating measures according to the law are assistive technology, reasonable accommodations or auxiliary aids or services, learned behavioral or adaptive neurological modifications, and prosthetics. The only exception is the use of ordinary eyeglasses or contact lenses (42 U.S.C. § 12102(4)(E)(ii),(iii)).The second point clarified by the ADAAA is that conditions that are episodic in nature or in remission can still be considered as a qualifying impairment if they result in a substantial limitation when they are active (42 U.S.C. § 12102(4)(D)). Examples of conditions that may meet this criteria include cancer, epilepsy, and depression.
14 504/ADAAA Disability Definition Part 3: Major Life Activity Section 504Caring for oneselfPerforming manual tasksWalkingSeeingHearingSpeakingBreathingLearningWorkingAdded by ADAAAEatingSleepingStandingLiftingBendingReadingConcentratingThinkingCommunicatingThe third and final part of the definition of disability under Section 504 is that the impairment must substantially limit a student's ability to perform a major life activity. Major life activities are things that are essential for daily living. Both the Section 504 regulations (34 C.F.R. § 104.3(j)(2)(ii)) and the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Acts (42 U.S.C. § 12102(2)(A)) list examples of major life activities, but they are not meant to be exhaustive. The list on the right shows how the ADAAA expanded the definition of disability by broadening the types of major life activities. This means that students who did not previously qualify for Section 504 protection may now be eligible because of the expanded definition of “major life activity.”
15 Additional Major Life Activities (Bodily Functions) BrainCirculatoryEndocrineReproductiveNeurologicalImmune systemNormal cell growthDigestiveBowelBladderRespiratoryThe Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act further broadened the definition of disability by adding a list of bodily functions that should be considered as major life activities (42 U.S.C. § 12102(2)(B)). Again, this list is not exhaustive.The inclusion of bodily functions in the list of major life activities covered by Section 504 may be especially helpful for students with medical conditions such as diabetes or epilepsy. Previously, schools may have developed health plans for these students but not conducted a full 504 evaluation to determine what services and supports they may need to ensure they can fully participate at school and in school-related events such as field trips. The ADAAA clarification of the disability definition may help students with disabilities related to these bodily functions have their individual education needs met. (Mills, 2010)
16 Test Your KnowledgeWhat is the name of the law that includes Section 504?What are the three parts of the definition of disability under Section 504?Throughout this presentation, “Test Your Knowledge” slides are provided as a means to review the information with the audience. If time prohibits you from going through them, presenters could also provide a handout with the questions on the front and answers on the back for attendees to review later. You may also wish to provide the questions at the beginning of the presentation as a way of showing the material that participants will learn during the presentation.1. Section 504 is part of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.2. Section 504 defines “person with a disability” as:A person who:Has a physical or mental impairment*that substantially limits amajor life activity* Also includes someone who “has a record” of such an impairment or “is regarded as having” such an impairment.
17 Section 504 and Public Schools At the beginning of this section, presenters will want to reinforce that the information also applies to private schools that receive federal funds (i.e., for textbooks, school lunch programs, etc.).
18 Section 504 and Public Schools Intent of civil rights laws is to provide equal opportunity and prevent discrimination based on disabilityPublic schools must provide FAPE (free appropriate public education) to each qualified student with a disabilityThe purpose of civil rights laws such as the Rehabilitation Act’s Section 504 is to prevent discrimination and guarantee equal opportunity. Section 504 ensures, through an individualized process, that qualified students with disabilities have equal access to education. Section 504 does not guarantee that students with disabilities will achieve certain results (e.g., “A” grades in class).According to Section 504, public schools must provide a free appropriate public education – also known as FAPE – to qualifying students with disabilities (34 C.F.R. § (b) & (c)).The first part of the FAPE definition is “free.” Parents cannot be charged for additional services or accommodations that are needed because of a child’s disability. They can, however, be charged fees that are paid by all students such as activity fees.(U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights. (2010, August). Free appropriate public education for students with disabilities: Requirements under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of Retrieved from
19 504 & FAPE: What is an appropriate education? Meets a student's individual needs as adequately as the needs of nondisabled students are metPlaces students with their nondisabled peers to the maximum extent appropriateIncludes evaluation and placement proceduresEstablishes due process proceduresAccording to the Office for Civil Rights, there are four main components to ensure that a student’s education is “appropriate.”The needs of the student with a disability must be met to the same extent as students who do not have disabilities, even if the school must provide additional services, supports, modifications, or accommodations to meet their needs. An “appropriate” education can be provided through regular education, special education, related aids, or related services.It is important to note that this does not mean that students with disabilities will receive the best education possible but only that the quality of education service provided will be the same as what is provided to nondisabled students. This also includes equal access to nonacademic services provided by the public school, such as extracurricular activities, after school programs, athletics, transportation, and health services.Students with disabilities should be placed in the regular education setting with their nondisabled peers unless the student’s needs can not be adequately met in such a placement, even with the use of related aids and services.An individual evaluation conducted by the school must be used to ensure that students are properly classified as having a disability and receive the proper placement.An appropriate education also means that proper safeguards are in place and known by parents, so parents can appeal decisions through a specific process.(U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights. (2010, August). Free appropriate public education for students with disabilities: Requirements under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of Retrieved from
20 Overview: The 504 Process Referral Evaluation Eligibility DeterminationDevelopment of 504 PlanReviewReevaluationThe following process is used to ensure that schools provide qualified students with disabilities with an appropriate education. Not all schools implement each step in the same way, but the overall process is similar. Each step is described further on the following slides.Referral for evaluation. School staff or a parent may make a referral for a child to be evaluated under Section 504. There is a “child find” requirement for school districts that means they are responsible to identify students who they suspect might have a disability (34 C.F.R ). Parents wishing to request an evaluation should do so in writing.Evaluation. The purpose of an evaluation is to gather individual information about the student to determine whether the child has a disability and is eligible for Section 504 protections or services, as well as what services or accommodations the student may need (34 C.F.R (b)).Eligibility Determination. A 504 team, including people knowledgeable about the child, the data, and the placement options, will review data from a variety of sources including the evaluation and information from the parents to determine if the student is eligible for 504 protections or services. (34 C.F.R (c))Develop a 504 Plan. If it is determined that a child is a qualifying student with a disability, the team must develop a Section 504 Plan that addresses the student’s individual needs.Review Plan. The 504 team must convene periodically to review the 504 Plan to ensure that it is meeting the child’s needs and to make necessary modifications.Reevaluation. The 504 team must periodically reevaluate a student with a 504 plan. The child must be reevaluated before a Section 504 plan is substantially changed or a change in placement is made. (34 C.F.R (d)).
22 Evaluation ReferralDistricts: Have “child find” obligation to evaluate students who they suspect may have a disabilityParents: May want to consider 504 evaluation if their child did not qualify for services under IDEA but has shown a pattern of not succeeding in the general education classroom or has a diagnosis and needs accommodations to fully participate in school activitiesIt is important that teachers, counselors, and other staff know that, like IDEA, Section 504 requires school districts to identify and evaluate students who are suspected of having a disability. School staff should refer a student for evaluation if they suspect the student has a disability and may benefit from Section 504 or IDEA services. (34 C.F.R )Parents may request a referral for evaluation under Section 504 for a variety of reasons. They may know their child has a disability, but the student was found ineligible under IDEA. The student may be struggling academically or in danger of being retained. A parent may also request a 504 evaluation if they have revoked consent for special education services under IDEA. A request for evaluation should be made in writing to the school’s Section 504 coordinator. (Presenter may wish to provide more specific referral information based on the state/community in which they are presenting).Whether the school or parent initiates the evaluation referral, parental permission is required before an initial evaluation can be conducted.After a parent requests an evaluation, the school may either proceed with the evaluation or refuse the request to evaluate. If the school refuses to evaluate, it must provide parents with notice of their procedural safeguard rights so that parents know of their opportunities to appeal the decision or proceed with an independent evaluation.(U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights. (2011, March). Frequently asked questions about Section 504 and the education of children with disabilities. Retrieved from – See Q. 31.
23 Purpose of EvaluationDoes the student have a disability under Section 504?If so, what are the student’s individual education needs?There are many reasons why a proper evaluation is required as part of the 504 process. Even students who have medical diagnoses must be evaluated to determine if they have a qualifying disability under Section 504. Data from the evaluation also helps the team make service and placement decisions based on students’ individual needs.
24 Section 504 Evaluation Requirements The evaluation must:Use valid tests conducted by trained personnelAssess all areas of educational needAccurately reflect achievement rather than disabilityBe completed in a reasonable amount of timeInclude process for periodic reevaluationSection 504 regulations require school districts to establish standards and procedures for conducting preplacement evaluations for students suspected of needing special education or related services, as well as for required periodic reevaluation.The procedures developed by the school must ensure that the following criteria are met (34 C.F.R ):Tests and other evaluation materials must have been validated for the purpose they are being used. This means that the tests have gone through a process to ensure that they measure what they are supposed to be measuring. Additionally, the person conducting the tests must be trained to administer the tests correctly.Tests must address all potential areas of need, not just intelligence.Tests must accurately reflect a student’s achievement and aptitude in the area being measured and not be biased against students with sensory, manual, or speaking impairments.Evaluations must be completed in a reasonable amount of time. The 504 regulations do not provide a specific timeline, but OCR has interpreted this to be similar to requirements under IDEA which requires the initial evaluation to be conducted within 60 days of parental consent (34 C.F.R (c)). State requirements may be different.Section 504 regulations also do not provide detailed requirements for “periodic reevaluation” of students served under section 504, but they do note that a procedure consistent with IDEA would be one way of meeting this requirement. IDEA requires reevaluation at least once every three years (34 C.F.R ).(U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights. (2011, March). Frequently asked questions about Section 504 and the education of children with disabilities. Retrieved from – See Q. 18, 19, & 20
25 Medical Diagnosis and 504Medical diagnosis is not needed for Section 504 eligibilityIf 504 placement team determines a diagnosis is required, the evaluation must be conducted at no cost to the parentsIf a child does have a medical diagnosis, it does not automatically qualify the student for 504 servicesParents may wonder whether a medical diagnosis is required to qualify a student for Section 504 services if they have a disability such as ADHD. According to the Office for Civil Rights, a medical diagnosis is not required. If the 504 team determining a child’s eligibility believes a medical diagnosis is necessary as part of the evaluation process, then it must be conducted at no cost to the parents.Students who have a medical diagnosis do not automatically qualify for Section 504 eligibility. However, that information must be considered by the team making the eligibility decisions.(U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights. (2011, March). Frequently asked questions about Section 504 and the education of children with disabilities. Retrieved from – See Q. 23, 24, & 25
26 Reevaluation Required: “Periodically” (not defined in 504, may use IDEA timelines)Before changing placement (includes education setting or significant change in service level)Suspension of more than 10 daysOnce students are determined to be eligible under Section 504, they must be reevaluated on a periodic basis. “Periodic reevaluation” is not defined in regulations, but school districts may use IDEA procedures as one way of meeting this requirement. Under IDEA, reevaluations must be conducted at least every three years and more often if requested by the child’s parent or teacher. Although there is no “expiration date” for a 504 plan, periodic reevaluation ensures that the student’s needs are being adequately addressed.Because a student’s 504 Plan should be based on evaluation data, reevaluations must occur before any significant change in placement. According to the Office for Civil Rights, this would include: transferring a student from one type of program to another, terminating or significantly reducing a related service, or excluding a child from his or her educational program beyond 10 days. This may include a series of suspensions that total more than 10 days, even if each individual suspension is less than 10 days, because it creates a pattern of exclusion (Mills, 2010).(U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights. (2011, March). Frequently asked questions about Section 504 and the education of children with disabilities. Retrieved from – See Q. 29 & 30
28 504 Team People who: are knowledgeable about the student, can interpret data, andknow the placement optionsMight Include:PrincipalSocial WorkerCounselorPsychologistNurseOther School StaffParentAfter the preplacement evaluation is conducted, a 504 team should meet to (1) determine whether the student is eligible for Section 504 services and (2) consider the placement options.Section 504 regulations state that the team should be composed of people who are knowledgeable about the student, the meaning of the evaluation data, and the placement options (34 C.F.R. § (c)(3)). Parents are not specifically required to be members of the team as in IDEA, but as people knowledgeable about the child, OCR has stated that the school should provide them with the opportunity to participate in team meetings and decisions.(U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights. (2011, March). Frequently asked questions about Section 504 and the education of children with disabilities. Retrieved from – See Q. 28
29 Determining 504 Eligibility & Services The team must consider all factors affecting a student’s ability to receive FAPE:Evaluation data (aptitude and achievement tests)Teacher recommendationsPhysical conditionChild’s social & cultural backgroundAdaptive behaviorOther sources of information (parents, doctors, etc.)When determining whether students are eligible for Section 504 services and what type of services they should have, the team should document and consider information from a variety of sources. In addition to any standardized achievement or aptitude tests, the team should also take into account information provided by the child’s teacher, doctor, other service providers, and parents. If parents obtain an independent evaluation of their child at their own expense, that information should also be considered by the team when making their placement decisions.It is important that the team consider information from these various to ensure a student’s 504 plan is based on his or her individual needs and not any assumptions about the child’s disability.If the team decides a student is eligible for 504 services, the team will next decide on the child’s accommodations or services (collectively referred to as the 504 Plan). If the team decides the student is not eligible, the parent must be provided with an explanation. The parent can appeal the decision through a hearing in the district.34 C.F.R(U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights. (2011, March). Frequently asked questions about Section 504 and the education of children with disabilities. Retrieved from – See Q. 19 & 26
30 504 PlanPlan describes all services and accommodations to be provided to meet student’s individual needsWritten plan is not required, but is considered good practice and should be requested by parentsSchool districts are required to provide students with disabilities appropriate educational services designed to meet the individual needs of students as adequately as the needs of students without disabilities are met. Schools must develop a 504 Plan for eligible students that describes the services and accommodations that will be provided to the child. The plan should also include where the services will be provided and by whom. Section 504 regulations do not require that a 504 plan be written, but it is a best practice (Mills, 2010). A written plan allows all parties to be clear on what has been agreed to and provides parents with adequate notice of the team’s decisions. Additionally, those responsible for implementing the plan will know what is required of them.The plan should also include a communication plan so the parent knows how the information will be communicated to everyone who works with the student, including staff such as lunch room aides and school bus drivers.(U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights. (2011, March). Frequently asked questions about Section 504 and the education of children with disabilities. Retrieved from – See Q. 4
31 Types of Educational Settings Regular classesRegular classes with supplemental servicesSpecial education and related servicesIn general, a student with a 504 plan may be placed in three possible settings:Regular classroom,Regular classroom with supplemental services, orIn a special education program with related services.The presumption of the Office for Civil Rights is that school districts should place students with disabilities in the regular classroom environment with their peers without disabilities unless a student’s individual needs cannot be met in such a placement, even with the use of supplementary aids and services. Supplemental and related services, which will be described in more detail later, include things such as testing accommodations, preferential seating, tutoring, counseling, and assistive technology.However, it is important to note that part of providing FAPE to students with disabilities under Section 504 may be through the provision of special education services. Students found eligible under Section 504 can receive special education services even if they have not been determined to be eligible under IDEA.The most important factor to consider when determining the educational setting for students with disabilities under 504 is inclusion. Even if a student needs to be placed outside the regular classroom in order to receive FAPE, the team must consider the proximity of the alternative placement to the child’s home (34 C.F.R (a)).(U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights. (2010, August). Free appropriate public education for students with disabilities: Requirements under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of Retrieved from – See Q. 4 & 14Students must be placed in regular classrooms to the maximum extent appropriate
32 Types of Supplemental Services Examples include accommodations and modifications such as:Removal of physical barriersExtended time for testingAdjustment of class scheduleRest periodsUse of aids (calculators, recorders, notetakers, modified textbooks, etc.)Individualized homework assignmentsThis slide provides some examples of accommodations that may be provided through Section 504 plans. This list is not meant to be exhaustive. Plans should be very specific in their description of supplemental services. For example, if extended time is provided as an accommodation, how much extra time and under what circumstances?Removal of physical barriersExtended time for testingAdjustment of class scheduleRest periodsUse of aids (calculators, recorders, notetakers, modified textbooks, etc.)Individualized homework assignmentsNote: Mitigating measures – hearing aids, medications, or other ways used to alleviate the impact of a disability – cannot be taken into account when determining whether a student with a disability is eligible for 504 protections. However, they may be considered when determining what services are needed to meet the child’s individual needs.
33 Types of Related Services Physical therapyCounseling, psychological, or social work servicesAssistive technologySpeech & language servicesOccupational therapyMedical ServicesStaff trainingIn additional to accommodations, related services may also be part of a student’s placement and 504 Plan. This list is not exhaustive. Again, what is most important to remember is that a 504 Plan must be based on a child’s individual needs to ensure the student’s needs are met as adequately as students without disabilities and that the student is provided with a free, appropriate education in the least restrictive environment.“Related services,” as defined by the IDEA, is a term used in the public school setting to refer to developmental, corrective, and other supportive services, including transportation (34 C.F.R ). It is important to note that related services may include health services that do not need to be overseen by medical personnel, such as administration of medication or glucose monitoring and insulin shots for students with diabetes. Because health services are a type of related service that may be needed by a student to receive FAPE, schools should not require parents to come to school to administer medication needed by their children.
34 Non-Academic Services Section 504 also prohibits discrimination against students with disabilities in non-academic settings:Before and after-school programsField tripsExtracurricular activities & athleticsCareer/guidance servicesTransportationSection 504 does not just protect students with disabilities from discrimination in educational settings. The regulations also require equal access in non-academic programs run by the school district. Examples include (but are not limited to): before and after school programs, field trips, extracurricular activities and athletics, career and guidance services, and transportation.For example, schools that provide career counseling must ensure that students with disabilities are not guided to more restrictive career objectives, but receive the same opportunities as nondisabled students with similar interests and abilities.Schools providing athletic programs for students must ensure students with disabilities have an equal opportunity to participate. Different services can be provided to children with disabilities if the school district provides students with disabilities an equal opportunity to compete for interscholastic teams. Extracurricular programs can require participants to have a certain skill level to participate (advanced placement (AP) classes, band, sports, etc.) as long as students with disabilities are not excluded simply because they have a disability and may need accommodations and related services. For example, a student with a disability must be “otherwise qualified” (have the necessary athletic skills) to participate on a varsity sports team.(U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights. (2010, August). Free appropriate public education for students with disabilities: Requirements under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of Retrieved from
35 Test Your KnowledgeWhat are the six steps in the process, beginning with “referral”?Who are potential members of a Section 504 team?What is the timeline for completing a Section 504 evaluation?The six steps in the 504 Process are:1. Referral2. Evaluation3. Eligibility determination4. Development of 504 plan5. Review6. ReevaluationMembership is not prescribed by law, but potential members of a 504 team include:Principal504 coordinatorPsychologistSocial workerTeacherParentNurseOther School StaffOthers?There is no timeline in Section 504 law or regulations other than “reasonable.” OCR states that the IDEA timeline of 60 days, or a state-specific timeline, may be used.
36 Procedural Safeguards This section should be modified to describe the procedural safeguards available in the presenter’s own state.
37 Procedural Safeguards NoticeRecords review by parent or guardianDue process -- impartial hearing with participation by parent and counselA review procedure“Procedural safeguards” is a term for actions a school must take to ensure that a policy is implemented correctly and fairly. Procedural safeguards are a way to guarantee that parents know what is going on with their children’s education and that there is a system for them to voice a disagreement about the school’s decision. Section 504 requires that schools’ procedural safeguards include the following components: notice, opportunity for record review, impartial hearing process, and a review procedure. Section 504 does not provide detailed requirements for these provisions. However, the regulations state that following the procedural safeguards provisions of Section 615 of the IDEA statute is one way of meeting this requirement. The procedural safeguards in IDEA provide further protection and detail than what is provided in Section 504 alone.Notice: Parents must be informed of actions taken by the school regarding the identification, evaluation, and placement of their child with a disability. This is called “notice.” Section 504 does not specify that this notice must occur in writing, but that is considered to be best practice.Record review: Parents must have the opportunity to review the educational records of their child upon request.Due process hearing: When there is a disagreement between the school and the parents regarding the student’s identification, evaluation, or placement, the parent can request a 504 hearing. These impartial hearings are often referred to as “due process” hearings. Parents must be allowed to participate and be represented by an attorney. Schools are not required to provide the parent with an attorney, however. Some states and districts use IDEA hearing officers for 504 hearings, while others may use someone else identified by the school. Section 504 does not specify any timelines for when hearings must take place, but if not specified by state law, the Office for Civil Rights has generally used IDEA case law for determining appropriateness. IDEA requires due process hearings to occur within 45 days of the end of the resolution period (34 CFR (c)). Mediation is not an option under Section 504 unless states allow parents to use their IDEA mediation procedures for 504 disputes.Review procedure: A review procedure simply means that the school district must have a system for evaluating its own compliance with Section 504.34 C.F.R
38 504 Coordinator and Grievance Procedures School Districts must:Establish grievance procedures for resolving complaintsDesignate a 504 Coordinator to ensure complianceInform parents and students about the grievance processIn addition to procedural safeguards, Section 504 also requires that school districts designate a 504 coordinator and adopt grievance procedures. Sometimes due process (impartial) hearings are confused with grievance procedures, but they are not the same thing. While due process and other procedural safeguards specifically relate to providing FAPE to qualified students with disabilities, grievance procedures address more general concerns about disability discrimination.Grievance procedures must be established according to the Section 504 regulations that apply to all recipients of federal funds with 15 or more employees (34 C.F.R ). According to the regulation, school districts must:designate a responsible employee to ensure 504 compliance (often known as 504 coordinator); andadopt grievance procedures that incorporate appropriate due process standards and provide for the prompt and equitable resolution of complaints alleging discrimination on the basis of disability under Section 504. Such complaints might involve disability harassment, differential treatment, or lack of accessible facilities or programs.Districts should notify parents and students through the district website, student handbook, and other relevant publications about who the 504 coordinator is, how to contact the coordinator, where to obtain a copy of the district’s grievance procedures, and how to file complaints. (Often a program’s 504 coordinator is also the ADA coordinator as there is so much similarity in the two laws.) Districts have the responsibility to adequately conduct an impartial investigation of complaints in a reasonable time frame. Districts also have the obligation to respond to disability-based discrimination allegations even if a formal grievance complaint is not filed. (Mills, 2010)Parents have the right to ask at any time who the 504 coordinator is and to see a copy of the grievance procedures. The 504 coordinator may be an assistant principal, guidance counselor, or other school staff member.
39 Additional Dispute Resolution Options U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights complaint (must be filed within 180 days)Legal action in Federal CourtIf parents are not satisfied with responses received through due process or a district level complaint, there are additional actions they can take.To file a complaint with the Office for Civil Rights (OCR), parents or others should contact the appropriate regional office (link is on slide at end of presentation). The Office for Civil Rights primarily reviews cases resolving compliance with following proper Section 504 procedure. Complaints must be filed within 180 days of when the discrimination allegedly occurred. Complaints may be filed by an individual or organization and address discrimination against just one child, a group of students, or systemic issues. OCR will administratively close a filed complaint if it is also filed with another federal, state, or local civil rights agency or through an internal grievance procedure.OCR will investigate the complaint through data collection and possibly an on-site review. In individual complaints, an informal process called “Early Complaint Resolution” is an option. After the investigation, OCR issues a Letter of Findings that states whether or not there was a violation and, if so, what the corrective actions should be. If school districts do not implement the needed changes, OCR can initiate proceedings to suspend or terminate federal financial assistance or can refer the case to the Department of Justice. There is no timeline requirement for when OCR must issue a letter of findings.Parents can also go immediately to federal court. Parents are not required to exhaust administrative remedies before filing in federal court as they are under IDEA. Attorney fees may be recoverable.(U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights. (2010, January). OCR complaint processing procedures. Retrieved from
40 No Retaliation Districts may not retaliate against individuals for: asserting rights under 504/Title IIopposing disability discriminationparticipating in a complaint process or hearingSchool districts should be aware that Section 504 includes anti-retaliation requirements and therefore school districts cannot engage in an “adverse action” such as retaliation, threats, or intimidation against individuals who assert their Section 504 rights or vocally oppose disability discrimination.34 C.F.R (incorporating by reference 34 C.F.R. § 100.7(e) of the Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964)
41 Test Your KnowledgeWhat are the four types of procedural safeguards under Section 504?The four types of procedural safeguards in Section 504 are:NoticeRecords reviewDue process or impartial hearingReview procedure
42 Section 504 & Public Schools Review: Interactive Activities Section 504 & IDEA ScenariosSample 504 PlansNote to Presenter: The following slides contain interactive activities that may be conducted as time allows during your presentation. There are scenarios to further explain the differences and interaction between IDEA and Section 504. There are also slides with several disabilities listed to prompt discussion on possible accommodations and services that may be included in a 504 Plan.
43 Section 504 & IDEA Scenarios Scenarios for Audience DiscussionThe following scenarios can be used to generate discussion among the audience on the different requirements of Section 504 or IDEA. Depending on the audience, you may discuss them as a large group or break the audience into small groups. These scenarios are provided as a handout in the additional resources section of the trainer’s manual for this curriculum. They are complex situations that may be especially useful for advocacy or leadership training.Grace’s StoryGrace is 10 years old and in fourth grade. She was held back in second grade. The school would not evaluate her. In third grade she was diagnosed with ADHD. The doctor gave her medicine so she could pay attention in class. Now she is having a hard time in math and reading. She is also misbehaving in school. She was suspended earlier this year. The doctor wants her to take medicine in the middle of the day. Her school does not have a nurse. The school gave her parents a choice. They can come to the school to give her medicine, or the school will transfer her. The school across town has a school nurse to give her medicine. What should Grace’s parents do now? Consider:Which law applies: IDEA (the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, neither, or both?What is the first step for Grace’s parents now?What are the timelines for the next steps under IDEA? Section 504?What can Grace’s parents do if the school does not agree with them under IDEA? Section 504?Alberto’s StoryAlberto is 14 years old and in seventh grade. He was held back in second and third grade. He is taking Basic Skills classes. He skips classes every day. He might be held back this year. The school evaluated him. They said he is not eligible for special education. His parents asked for extra help. The school refused. They said he needed to try harder. He is interested in auto mechanics. He took the test, but he did not pass. His parents think he is taking drugs. What should Alberto’s parents do now? Consider:Which law applies: IDEA, Section 504, neither, or both?What is the first step for Alberto’s parents now?What can Alberto’s parents do if the school does not agree with them under IDEA? Section 504?Harry’s StoryHarry is 12 years old and in sixth grade. He gets into trouble in school a lot. His parents asked for an evaluation. The school refused. A private evaluator said he has a learning disability. His parents sent the evaluation to the school. The school did not reply. The school sent him home yesterday for two weeks. What should Harry’s parents do now? Consider:What is the first step for Harry’s parents now?What can Harry’s parents do if the school does not agree with them under IDEA? Section 504?
44 Sample 504 Accommodations & Services Note to presenter: The next several slides provide examples of accommodations, modifications, and related services that may be provided to students with various disabilities under a Section 504 Plan. The lists are not meant to be exhaustive or prescriptive, as each 504 Plan should be developed based on the unique needs of the individual. However, these slides provide examples for parents to consider as they develop their own child’s 504 Plan. Small groups can brainstorm possible elements of plans for students with the various disabilities.
45 Child with ADHD Extra time to complete work Strategies for staying on taskReduced assignment lengthTwo sets of booksSupervision on outingsQuiet room for testsSupervision of medication administrationStudents with ADHD may need supports to help them stay organized and focused. Children may need extra time to complete their work, shorter assignments, extra books so they can have one set at home and one at school, a quiet testing environment, and supervision on field trips to help them with their impulse control. The particular services and accommodations needed by a student with ADHD may vary significantly from child to child.
46 Child with Diabetes Private space and time to monitor glucose levels Ability to eat snacks when neededOpportunity to make up work missed due to illnessHealth plan that includes training staff to administer insulin shots at school or on field tripsStudents with diabetes may need assistance with monitoring their blood sugar levels and injecting insulin. Even students old enough to manage their diabetes themselves may need access to a private room to monitor their glucose. Children with diabetes may also need the opportunity to make up for tests or instruction missed due to their illness. Students with diabetes may also need an individual health plan that outlines what response should be taken if their glucose is too high or too low and that ensures trained staff are present at school and on field trips.
47 Child with Severe Food Allergies Development of emergency health planLunch table free from allergen (e.g. “peanut free zone”)Ability to store safe snacks at school for special occasionsSupervision of administration of medicationA child with severe food allergies may need accommodations to avoid contact with the allergen and a plan to ensure staff are trained in the event of an emergency. Students may also need to store snacks at school so they are available for special occasions such as birthdays or class parties. Additionally, the student may need someone to assist in the administration of medication.
48 Child with Learning Disabilities Notetaker for class lecturesShortened homework assignmentsAssistive technology such as audio textbooksExtended time for testsA child with learning disabilities may need some basic accommodations to ensure equal opportunity to access the general curriculum. Some examples of related services and accommodations that may be included as part of a 504 Plan are: notetaker for class lectures, shortened homework assignments, assistive technology such as audio textbooks, or extended time for tests.
49 Child with Anxiety Disorder Extended time for testsSupervision of administration of medicationTime for appointments with counselors/othersModified scheduleAbility to take breaks in quiet settingStudents with anxiety disorder may need some accommodations to help them decrease their level of stress in the school environment and help them stay focused. The following related services and accommodations may be included as part of a 504 Plan, such as extended time for tests, supervision of administration of medication, time for appointments with counselors/others, a modified schedule, or the ability to take breaks when needed in a quiet setting.
50 Child with Arthritis Modified schedule Movement plan to avoid stiffnessAssistance with carrying (books, lunch tray, band instruments, etc.)Assistive technology or notetakerMedication assistanceA student with arthritis may need accommodations to allow for movement throughout the day to avoid a stiffening of joints. The student may also need assistance with carrying heavy objects and alternatives to writing with a pencil. Children with arthritis may also need assistance with administration of medications during the school day.
52 References ADA Amendments Act of 2008 Section 504, Title II, and Students with Disabilities in Public Schools (OCR)Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 RegulationsIDEA/504 & ADAA Workshop (SPAN)Free Appropriate Public Education for Students with Disabilities: Requirements under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (OCR)Full citations to the resources used in the development of this curriculum are included below. Titles and links are embedded in the slide.ReferencesADA Amendments Act of 2008, Pub. L. No , 42 U.S.C. § (2008). Retrieved fromMills, R. (U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights). (2010, August). Section 504, Title II, and students with disabilities in public schools [PowerPoint Slides]. Presented at the OSEP Leadership Mega Conference, Arlington, VA. Retrieved from:Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 34 C.F.R. pt. 104 (2000). Retrieved fromStatewide Parent Advocacy Network (SPAN). (n.d.) IDEA/504 & ADAA workshop [PowerPoint Slides].U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights. (2010, August). Free appropriate public education for students with disabilities: Requirements under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of Retrieved from
53 References, cont. OCR Complaint Processing Procedures Frequently Asked Questions About Section 504 and the Education of Children with Disabilities (OCR)Americans with Disabilities Act Questions and Answers (EEOC)Section 504 and Students with Disabilities (WI FACETS)Full citations to the resources used in the development of this curriculum are included below. Titles and links are embedded in the slide.ReferencesU.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights. (2010, January). OCR complaint processing procedures. Retrieved fromU.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights. (2011, March). Frequently asked questions about Section 504 and the education of children with disabilities. Retrieved fromU.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. (2008, October). Americans with Disabilities Act questions and answers. Retrieved fromWisconsin FACETS. (2009). Section 504 and students with disabilities [PowerPoint Slides].
54 Office for Civil Rights National OCR Headquarters: Find your regional OCR office (also listed on next slide): Complaint Information:
55 OCR – Regional Offices http://www2. ed Boston Office (CT, ME, MA, NH, RI, VT)(617)Chicago Office (IL, IN, IA, MN, ND, WI)(312)New York Office (NJ, NY, PR, VI)(646)Cleveland Office (MI, OH)Telephone: (216)Philadelphia Office (DE, MD, KY, PA, WV)(215)Kansas City Office (KS, MO, NE, OK, SD)(816)Atlanta Office (AL, FL, GA, TN)(404)Denver Office (AZ, CO, NM, UT, WY)(303)Dallas Office (AR, LA, MS, TX)(214)San Francisco Office (CA)(415)District of Columbia Office (NC, SC, VA, DC)(202)Seattle Office (AK, AS, GU, HI, ID, MT, NV, OR, WA, MP)(206)