“No otherwise qualified individual with handicaps in the United States shall solely by reason of her or his handicap, as defined in section 706(8) of this title, 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 or under any program or activity conducted by any Executive agency or by the United States Postal Service.” (29 U.S.C. Sec. 794)
Envisions a broad umbrella of coverage Lowers bar for showing that an impairment substantially limits Makes clear that eligibility for impairments that are episodic or are in remission is based on a substantial limitation when active Expands list of major life activities Prohibits consideration of mitigating measures Clarifies 3 rd prong, “regarded as” definition of person with a disability Makes clear that minor & transitory impairments are not protected disabilities
Individuals with Handicaps… “any individual who (i) has a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more of such person’s major life activities, (ii) has a record of such impairment, or (iii) is regarded as having such an impairment.” (29 U.S.C. Sec. 706(8)) Physical or Mental Impairment… 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, genitourinary, 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 Code of Federal Regulations Part 104.3) Major Life Activities “…functions such as caring for one’s self, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, and working.” (34 Code of Federal Regulations Part 104.3) The ADAAA08 added: reading, concentrating, thinking, sleeping, eating, lifting, bending, communicating and the operation of a major bodily function such as the immune system, normal cell growth, digestive, bowel, bladder functions.
Record of such impairment “…Has a history of, or has been classified as having a mental or physical impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.” (34 Code of Federal Regulations Part 104.3) Is regarded as having an impairment “… (A) has a physical or mental impairment that does not substantially limit major life activities but is treated by a recipient as constituting such a limitation; B) has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits major life activities only as a result of the attitudes of others toward such impairment; or (C) has none of the impairments defined but is treated by a recipient as having such an impairment.” (34 Code of Federal Regulations Part 104.3) ◦ Substantial Limitation the inability to perform a major life activity or major bodily function when compared to how the person in the general population performs the same...
Mitigating Measures - prescribed medication or intervention which lessens or to tries to lessen the seriousness or extent of the effects of the impairment Modification – adjustments to the instruction/test that change the construct (language load, content complexity, cognitive complexity) ◦ Different Material ◦ Reduced Assignments/Tests ◦ Reduced # of Answer Options Accommodation - changes the way a student accesses learning/testing; assignment content does not change, nor become “watered down;” used in instruction AND on State tests Test in Braille Assistive Technology Devices Special Test Environments One Test Item per Page
A plan designed by a team knowledgeable about the student, the meaning of the evaluation data, and the placement options to meet the individual needs of individuals with disabilities as adequately as the needs of nondisabled students’ needs are met.
Ensures compliance with requirements Establishes & monitors referral, identification, & placement process Maintains referral data Conducts/arranges staff training Ensures availability of grievance process Serves as liaison with state staff Serves as primary contact with OCR Keeps Superintendent aware of unresolved issues
Provides annual overview for faculty Serves as school contact for inquiries & referrals Prepares for meetings and ensures evaluations & other information are available for review Convenes team when appropriate Invites teachers, school nurses, parents and others to meetings Works with principal to ensure accommodations are implemented Consults with district coordinator for clarification & understanding of requirements Ensures referral, evaluation, and placement procedures are followed Notifies principal & district coordinator of unresolved issues
Environmental, cultural, and economic disadvantages ALONE - homeless - migrant - ELL - Poverty - truancy - transiency - parents divorce - death of family member or other crisis - parent military deployment The impairment may be corrected by the use of ordinary eye glasses or corrective lenses. Current illegal drug users are excluded from the definition of handicapped under section 504 & the ADA and are subject to the same disciplinary action to the extent applied to non- handicapped students for similar code of conduct infractions
For students at risk For students in need of extra help or minor adjustments For students not meeting their potential For students functioning below grade level Limited to educational needs A doctor’s decision A result of compromise Used with RTI to keep IDEA eligible count down Used for future needs of students Used when parents don’t want IDEA An assistance program
When a student transfers to a district from another school district with a 504 Plan, the receiving district should review the plan and supporting documentation. If the team determines that the plan is inappropriate, the district is to evaluate the student consistent with 504 eligibility procedures.
Impairment has an expected duration of 6 months or less Does not constitute a disability unless severe enough to result in a substantial limitation of a major life activity for an extended period of time Team decision May receive testing accommodations if used routinely during instruction & documented
Section 504 eligibility is not a consolation prize for students who do not qualify for Exceptional Children’s services.
Section 504 is not a measure to be taken JUST IN CASE accommodations/modifications are needed.
Physician’s medical diagnosis not enough evaluation Physician’s diagnosis does not make eligibility automatic No automatic impairments Testing Accommodations must have been routinely used in instructional program
Teachers may always use regular education intervention strategies to assist students with difficulties in school.
It may be determined that while a student is Section 504 eligible, the student does not require an EEOP because of ◦ the corrective effects of mitigating measures or ◦ the impairment is episodic or in remission
Section 504 legislation requires that school personnel identify students who have special needs, and provide necessary accommodations in the education environment so that these students can receive a Free and Appropriate Public Education. The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) is charged with of Section 504. OCR has focused attention in recent years on this law’s requirement that LEA’s provide a full range of accommodations and services to ensure that handicapped persons receive (FAPE).
The determination of eligibility for a 504 plan must be made by a group of persons knowledgeable about the student, the meaning of the evaluation data, and the placement options. A school based team should review the nature of the impairment, whether it substantially affects the student’s learning or other life activity, and what, if any, specialized services or accommodations are needed. Decisions about Section 504 eligibility and services must be documented in the student’s file and reviewed annually.
Determine whether a student’s impairment substantially limits the ability to learn or another major life activity. Draw upon information from a variety of sources: ◦ Aptitude/achievement tests ◦ Teacher recommendations ◦ Physical conditions ◦ Social/cultural background ◦ Adaptive behavior Establish procedures to ensure that information obtained is documented and carefully considered. No longer consider the effects of mitigating measures in determining whether a limitation is substantial.
Evaluation materials must demonstrate that the student’s academic and/or behavioral performance is less than that of the average, nondisabled student in school district.
Designed to address MLA/MBF in which a substantial limitation is documented Supported by evaluation data Clear & specific ◦ Avoid “as needed” Used regularly in instructional program if provided on state assessments Understood by teachers
Must be provided with notice of actions affecting the identification, evaluation, or placement of the child. School-wide Assistance Teams should obtain parent input when developing 504 Plans. Parents are entitled to a hearing if they disagree with school decisions. Parents must receive a copy of the Section 504 Notice of Rights. Teacher 504 School Coordinator Principal District 504 Coordinator District Superintendent
A handicapped student may not be suspended for more than 10 days without a manifestation hearing to determine that the misconduct is not caused by the disability. Team decision Manifestation is a re-evaluation Must have recent evaluation data which provides understanding of student’s current behavior Disciplinary action may be taken against students using illegal drugs or alcohol as with students without disabilities
FLOW CHART FOR A-TEAMS (CONSULTATIVE MODEL) Teacher recognizes problem (Focus of Concern-REI) Teacher tries to solve YES NO Teacher contacts A-Team Buddy Both try to solve YES NO Problem Solved Teacher and A-Team Buddy gather information to present to team meeting Interventions Work Interventions Don’t Work Teacher and Buddy gather more information for Team 504 Plan EC ReferralYES Interventions Work Interventions Don’t Work YES
Level I 1. Teacher recognizes problem 2. Teacher initiates RE forms 3. Teacher selects and implements interventions a.Use A-Team Notebook b.Implement at least two interventions for 3-6 weeks and include evaluation procedures c.Document interventions on RE forms and Consultation Buddy Form 4. If interventions work, maintain interventions 5. If interventions do not work, initiate request for assistance with Buddy Teacher Level II
Level II 1. Referring teacher contacts his/her Buddy teacher 2. Buddy teacher schedules intake interview with referring teacher, reviewing interventions, and RE forms. Options a.Work with teacher to modify and maintain teacher interventions b.Work with teacher to develop new interventions c.Request assistance from “resource persons” moving to a triad d.Initiate ADHD/ADD procedures e.Move to Level III and refer to assistance team f.If interventions are effective (a, b, c), the process could stop. However, the interventions need to be monitored for at least three weeks.
Level III 1. Assistance teams review RE forms, work samples, observations, interventions, etc. Options a.Using problem solving model, modify teacher/Buddy interventions with stated behavior goal b.Using problem solving model, generate new interventions with stated behavior goal c.Screening procedures for ADD/ADHD and/or EC referral d.Make referral to Exceptional Children (note the order here) e.Make referral to 504 - Follow 504 procedures and develop 504 plan for students who have an impairment that substantially limits a major life activity
Level III 2. Schedule follow-up on all cases for next meeting Options a.Problem resolved b.Maintain interventions c.Review screening data d.Make referral to Exceptional Children e.Make referral to 504
1. Review all RE forms and interventions used. Remember to include grades, attendance, test scores, etc. 2. Review any other data and information deemed necessary by the team. This may include work samples, EOG/EOC scores, family history, discipline referrals, rating scales, etc. 3. If additional screening is necessary, contact parents and obtain written parental permission to do such screening. 4. Use appropriate screening instrument for the possible impairment (i.e., Conners for ADD/ADHD). 5. Refer for school psychological evaluation if appropriate.
6. If the team evaluates and determines that there is an impairment AND the impairment substantially limits one or more of the student’s major life activities, the team may write the 504 Plan with parent participation. Copies of all the information used in the evaluation process, including copies of RE forms and other data, should be placed with the student’s 504 Plan. 7. Give parents a copy of the Notice of Rights 8. Make certain the 504 Plan is implemented and maintained. Distribute a copy to the parent, to the student’s teacher(s), the school 504 Coordinator, and the District 504 Coordinator.
9. The team, including the parent, should review the 504 Plan annually. The plan may be reviewed more frequently if necessary. Be certain to include a review of new EOG/EOC scores, grades, attendance records, or any other information needed to determine whether changes should be made to the 504 Plan. Include copies of this information with 504 Annual Review form. 10. The team, including the parent, shall re-evaluate the 504 Plan every three years using the Three Year Evaluation Form. 11. The key to a successful plan is listening to all team members including the parent. Continual monitoring of the plan as described above is essential.