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Old 10-21-04, 10:38 PM
triple*eee triple*eee is offline
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BASIC REFERENCE INFORMATION - 504, IEP, OHI, Wrightslaw

Hope this helps--

A Parent and Educators Guide to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973


Equal Rights for all Students





A Parent Guide to Section 504 is a pamphlet which provides information and describes the requirements of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 with respect to preschool, elementary and secondary school policies involving placement of children with physical and mental disabilities.

This pamphlet is designed specifically to give parent's understanding by providing information to help them access services for eligible Section 504 students.

Many states have developed Section 504 Guidelines for Educators that explains how a student might be eligible for Section 504 services. A copy of these guidelines are available by calling the State Department of Education.


WHAT IS SECTION 504?


Section 504 is the part of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 which applies to persons with disabilities. Section 504 is a civil rights act which protects the civil and constitutional rights of persons with disabilities.

MANDATE

Section 504 states that no person with a disability can be excluded from or denied benefits of any program receiving federal financial assistance.



Section 504 and special education are two separate services. All school districts should have a Coordinator to answer your questions about Section 504.

HISTORICAL BACKGROUND


Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 was implemented by Congress in 1977. For many years school districts perceived its main obligation as ensuring physical access to public buildings (i.e., ramps were installed, curbs were cut, elevators were added to multi-level buildings, rest room stalls were enlarged, etc.). Schools were at the same time committed to compliance with special education regulations now referred to as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act-Amendments of 1997 or IDEA.

With passage of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Congress required that school districts make their programs and activities accessible and usable to all individuals with disabilities.

Within the last several years, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has become active in assisting school districts in further defining "access." The definition of access means more than physical access, a student may require special accommodations such as modified assignment in order to benefit from their education.

HOW DOES SECTION 504 DEFINE "APPROPRIATE EDUCATION"?


A free appropriate education is one provided by the public elementary or secondary school which includes general or special education and related aids and services that (1) are designed to meet the individual educational needs of persons with a disability as adequately as the needs of the non-disabled persons are met, and (2) are based upon adherence to evaluation, placement and procedural safeguard requirements.

HOW DOES SECTION 504 DEFINE "DISABILITY"?


Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 protects persons from discrimination based upon their disability status. A person is disabled within the definition of Section 504 if he or she:
  • has a mental or physical impairment which substantially limits one or more of a person's major life activities; "Major life activities" include functions such as caring for one's self, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, and working. When a condition does not substantially limit a major life activity, the individual does not qualify under Section 504.


  • In order to determine eligibility for Section 504 services, your child must be evaluated by a team of individuals who are familiar with your child. The results will be shared at a team meeting in which you are involved.

    WHAT ARE SOME DIFFERENCES BETWEEN SPECIAL EDUCATION AND SECTION 504?
    Section 504 Special Education
    Type A Civil Rights Act An education act
    Funding Local funding State-federal-local funding
    Administration Section 504 Coordinator Special education Director
    Service Tool Accommodations Individualized Education Program
    Disabilities All disabilities are eligible 13 federal disabilities
    Parents Should be involved in all team meetings Should be involved in all team meetings
    Procedural Safeguards Notice to parents is required Parent consent and notice required for initial evaluation & placement
    Evaluation and Eligibility An evaluation is necessary before it can be determined if a child is eligible for Section 504 services. An evaluation is necessary before it can be determined if a child is eligible for special education.



    HOW ARE STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES IDENTIFIED?


    Section 504 regulations cover a larger group of students with disabilities. The definition of disability under Section 504 includes students who have a physical or mental disability which substantially limits one or more of life's major activities.

    For example, school staff should consider the potential existence of disabilities and possible Section 504 protection for students diagnosed as having HIV, Tourette's syndrome, attention deficit disorder (ADHD), heart malfunctions, communicable diseases, urinary conditions, blood disorders, chronic fatigue syndrome, school phobia, respiratory conditions, blood/sugar disorders, post truamatic disorders, pregnancy (with health issues that affect ability to learn), epilepsy, cancer, repetitive motion syndrome, birth defects, tuberculosis, etc.

    DOES SECTION 504 REQUIRE EVALUATIONS?


    Section 504 requires that a school evaluate "any person who, because of a disability, needs or is believed to need special education or related services." An evaluation is also required prior to any significant change in placement.

    ELIGIBILITY


    If the school has reason to believe that, because of a disability as defined under Section 504, a student needs accommodations or services in order to participate in the school program, the school must evaluate the student. If it is determined that a student is disabled under Section 504, the school must develop and implement the delivery of all needed services and/or accommodations.

    SERVICES


    The determination of what services and/or accommodations are needed must be made by a group of persons knowledgeable about the student. The parents must be included in the process whenever possible. The group must review the nature of the disability and how it affects the student's education. The decisions about Section 504 eligibility and services must be documented in the student's file and reviewed periodically.

    An appropriate education for students eligible under Section 504 may consist of education in general classes with accommodations and programs designed to meet the unique needs of a particular student.

    Adjustments in academic requirements and expectations may be necessary to accommodate the needs of an individual student with disabilities to enable him/her to participate in the general education program.


    It is important to keep in mind that some students who have physical or mental conditions that limit their ability to access and participate in the education program are entitled to rights under Section 504, even though they may not fall into a disabilities category covered in special education.

    WHAT DOES MAKING ACCOMMODATIONS MEAN?


    Accommodations are adjustments or modifications made by the classroom teacher(s) and other school staff to help students benefit from their educational program. In some cases a plan should be developed outlining services and accommodations.

    Examples of Common Accommodations


    Modify assignments, and tests.
    Provide an extra set of textbooks for home.
    Adjust student seating.
    Use study guides, organizing tools.
    Provide a peer tutor/helper.
    Counseling.
    Have the student use an organizer-train in organizational skills.
    Preferential seating.
  • Modify recess/PE/transportation. Accommodations need to take into account both the functional limitations of the individual and the alternative methods of performing tasks or activities to particpate without jeopardizing outcomes.


    Accommodations must be individualized.
    The individual needs of the person with a disability should be met to the same extent as the needs of persons without disabilities.
    Modifications can be made to school and/or classroom programs.
  • Accommodations should place the student with a disability at an equal starting level with the non-disabled student.

    The following is an example of a student who is eligible for Section 504 services and possible accommodations provided by the school.
    • A student has been diagnosed as having asthma. The doctor has advised the student not to participate in physical activity outdoors. The disability limits the major life function of breathing. The school is required to make reasonable accommodations in the education program.
    Possible Accommodations: Modified activity level for recess, P.E., etc.
    Use of air purifier or inhalants.
    Avoidance of allergens.
    Inhalant therapy assistance.
    Medication administration.
    Policy adjustment for personal administration of medications.
    Access to water, gum, etc.
    Curriculum considerations (science class, PE, etc.)
    Time of year-Bus transportation in winter.
    Develop health care and emergency plan.


    The school could develop a written plan describing placement and services. Placement decisions must be based upon evaluation information and student needs. Although a formal IEP is not required, the placement decisions must be made by a group of persons knowledgeable about the child, about the meaning of the evaluation data and about placement options.

    WHAT ARE THE SCHOOL DISTRICT RESPONSIBILITIES UNDER SECTION 504?


    There has been much confusion over the years regarding the relationship between Section 504 and special education laws and regulations. It must be emphasized that Section 504 falls under the management responsibility of the general education program. The school staff and parents need to work in collaboration to help guarantee that the student is provided with the necessary accommodations,

    To be in compliance with Section 504, schools must:
    1. Provide written assurance of nondiscrimination.
    2. Designate a 504 Coordinator to manage the program.
    3. Provide grievance procedures to resolve complaints.
    4. Provide notice of nondiscrimination in admission or access to its programs or activities. Notice must be included in a student/parent handbook.
    5. Annually identify and locate all qualified children with disabilities who are not receiving a public education.
    6. Annually notify persons with disabilities and their parents or guardians of the district's responsibilities under Section 504.
    7. Provide parents or guardians with procedural safeguards.
    8. Conduct a self-evaluation of school district policies, programs, and practices to make sure discrimination is not occurring.

    WHAT IS THE ROLE OF THE SECTION 504 COORDINATOR?


    The role of the Section 504 Coordinator is to assist the school in meeting requirements under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

    The Coordinator will provide resources and help educators and administrators regarding their responsibilities under Section 504. In addition, the Coordinator will assist in creating an on-going program that will support problem-solving teams in accommodating students' needs. If you have questions regarding Section 504, call the school district Section 504 Coordinator.

    WHAT ARE THE ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION AND THE OFFICE FOR CIVIL RIGHTS?


    The U.S. Department of Education is the agency of the U.S. Government that administers federal funds for education programs, conducts and disseminates education research, focuses national attention on issues and problems in education, enforces federal statutes prohibiting discrimination in any activities receiving federal funds, and ensures equal access to education for every individual.

    The U.S. Department of Education maintains Regional Civil Rights Offices to enforce Section 504 and other civil rights laws. All parents have the right to directly contact the Office for Civil Rights in their region if they believe their child is being discriminated against based upon their disability. Most differences with schools can be resolved before contacting the Office for Civil Rights. It is suggested you follow the procedures outlined below:
    1. First try to resolve your differences at the teacher or school level. Set up a meeting to discuss your differences.
    2. If unsuccessful, set up a meeting with the school district's Section 504 Coordinator.
    3. If unsuccessful, call the Parent Center in your state for guidance.
    4. In unsuccessful, ask for mediation. This is a free service for parents. A neutral individual will work with you and the school to help resolve your differences.
    5. If unsuccessful, ask the Section 504 Coordinator how to file a grievance.
    6. If unsuccessful, call the Office for Civil Rights in your region to express your concerns.

    SECTION 504
    PARENT/STUDENT RIGHTS
    IN IDENTIFICATION, EVALUATION AND PLACEMENT


    The following is a description of the rights granted under Section 504 to students with disabilities. The intent of the law is to keep you fully informed concerning decisions about your child and to inform you of your rights if you disagree with any of these decisions.

    You have the right to:
    1. Have your child take part in, and receive benefits from public education programs without discrimination because of his/her disability;
    2. Have the school district advise you of your rights under federal law;
    3. Receive notice with respect to identification, evaluation, or placement of your child;
    4. Have your child receive a free appropriate public education. This includes the right to be educated with students without disabilities to the maximum extent appropriate. It also includes the right to have the school district make accommodations to allow your child an equal opportunity to participate in school and school-related activities;
    5. Have your child educated in facilities and receive services comparable to those provided to students without disabilities;
    6. Have evaluation, educational, and placement decisions made based upon a variety of information sources, and by persons who know the student, the evaluation data, and placement options;
    7. Have your child receive special education and related services if he/she is found to be eligible under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act;
    8. Have transportation provided to and from an alternative placement setting at no greater cost to you than would be incurred if the student was placed in a program operated by the district;
    9. Have your child be given an equal opportunity to participate in nonacademic and extracurricular activities offered by the district;
    10. Examine all relevant records relating to decisions regarding your child's identification, evaluation, educational program, and placement;
    11. Obtain copies of educational records at a reasonable cost unless the fee would effectively deny you access to the records;
    12. A response from the school district to reasonable requests for explanations and interpretations of your child's records;
    13. Request amendment of your child's educational records if there is reasonable cause to believe that they are inaccurate, misleading or otherwise in violation of the privacy rights of your child. If the school district refuses this request for amendment, it shall notify you within a reasonable time, and advise you of the right to a hearing;
    14. File a 504 grievance if you have a disagreement with the school;
    15. Request mediation or an impartial due process hearing related to decisions or actions regarding your child's identification, evaluation, educational program or placement. You and the student may take part in the hearing and have an attorney represent you;
    16. File a complaint with the Regional Office for Civil Rights.
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      #2  
    Old 10-28-04, 11:13 PM
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    Here's a website that defines "learning disability" in simple language. Also, there is a link about IEP's.
    http://www.drspock.com/article/0,1510,4558,00.html
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    Old 04-05-05, 11:24 AM
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    Exclamation Important Information

    Before getting a lawyer, tell them you want your child qualified under an OHI. OHI is, Other Health Imapaired which is where the AD/HD belongs if there are no other qualifying tags. Below is the information I found at http://www.reedmartin.com/adhd.htm

    The 1999 Regulations, at 34 C.F.R. 300.7(c)(9), include "attention deficit disorder or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder" under Other Health Impaired. The OHI category has always referred to "limited strength, vitality or alertness" which were not terms that one often associated with our students with ADD. However, the regulations spell out the logic that ADD causes "a heightened alertness to environmental stimuli that results in limited alertness with respect to the educational environment." Parents and teachers have always said "I can't get them to pay attention to what they are supposed to pay attention to" and now we have an official recognition that is the problem.

    In the recent case of W.B. v. Matula, 67 F.3d 484 (3rd. Cir. 1995) the federal Circuit Court of Appeals decided a case in which the school district had insisted that the child, known to have ADD/ADHD was not IDEA eligible because "disruptive behaviors, including not paying attention in class, fighting with other students, failing to remain seated, making continuous noises and repeatedly touching other children... difficulty beginning tasks, difficulty finishing those that he did start and coloring within the lines" were not related to academics. The Circuit Court did not agree with the school district.

    Please look into a publication called...Advocating For Your Child with AD/HD & LD Manual

    I hope this helps.
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    Old 11-15-05, 04:30 PM
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    Hello!!

    How do I start the process for my son 12yr. old to get the iep or 504 plan any ideas??????
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    Old 06-21-07, 01:18 PM
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    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ttjmom
    Before getting a lawyer, tell them you want your child qualified under an OHI. OHI is, Other Health Imapaired which is where the AD/HD belongs if there are no other qualifying tags. Below is the information I found at http://www.reedmartin.com/adhd.htm

    The 1999 Regulations, at 34 C.F.R. 300.7(c)(9), include "attention deficit disorder or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder" under Other Health Impaired. The OHI category has always referred to "limited strength, vitality or alertness" which were not terms that one often associated with our students with ADD. However, the regulations spell out the logic that ADD causes "a heightened alertness to environmental stimuli that results in limited alertness with respect to the educational environment." Parents and teachers have always said "I can't get them to pay attention to what they are supposed to pay attention to" and now we have an official recognition that is the problem.

    In the recent case of W.B. v. Matula, 67 F.3d 484 (3rd. Cir. 1995) the federal Circuit Court of Appeals decided a case in which the school district had insisted that the child, known to have ADD/ADHD was not IDEA eligible because "disruptive behaviors, including not paying attention in class, fighting with other students, failing to remain seated, making continuous noises and repeatedly touching other children... difficulty beginning tasks, difficulty finishing those that he did start and coloring within the lines" were not related to academics. The Circuit Court did not agree with the school district.

    Please look into a publication called...Advocating For Your Child with AD/HD & LD Manual

    I hope this helps.
    http://www.reedmartin.com/addarticles.htm

    I think this is link ttjmom was looking for... I am not sure but check this link out anyway.
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    Old 07-28-09, 11:18 AM
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    Re: BASIC REFERENCE INFORMATION - 504, IEP, OHI, Wrightslaw

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by auntchris View Post
    http://www.reedmartin.com/addarticles.htm

    I think this is link ttjmom was looking for... I am not sure but check this link out anyway.
    I tried to click that link today. I got a "page not found" error message, and when I tried to go to the reedmartin.com home page, I found myself on a page for online casinos written in French. Is there an updated link, or is the site just gone?
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    Old 12-29-10, 09:53 PM
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    Re: BASIC REFERENCE INFORMATION - 504, IEP, OHI, Wrightslaw

    This is one of the best, and most accessible, accounts of the differences between special education under the IDEA and Section 504 that I've seen, so thought I'd post it in case it proves helpful:

    http://www.kps4parents.org/blog/?p=2305

    One thing they don't mention, but is important to note, is that 504 applies to higher education and the IDEA does not.
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    Old 12-30-10, 06:54 PM
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    Re: BASIC REFERENCE INFORMATION - 504, IEP, OHI, Wrightslaw

    Thank you for your kind words and sharing a link back to our article about the differences between 504 and IDEA protections to K-12 students. You are right that 504 extends to higher education, but our site primarily deals with the K-12 population. That said, you may have inspired the topic of a future article. Thanks again!!!!!
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    Old 02-03-11, 09:05 AM
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    Re: BASIC REFERENCE INFORMATION - 504, IEP, OHI, Wrightslaw

    I was doing some research and came across some good info to add to this thread.

    A collection of resources for families with gifted/special needs children:
    http://uniquelygifted.org/

    The Concord PAC has a very helpful website with information on assessments, schools, laws, and more. It also has recommendations of professionals whom PAC members have found helpful. Wrightslaw named it the best PAC site in the country! (Even though it's from a town in MA, there's a ton of useful info in their links)
    http://www.concordspedpac.org/

    From that site:
    What is the difference between a 504 and IEP?
    A 504 provides a student with accommodations, no remediation, or specialized education programs. It is used for students whose disability is NOT interfering with their ability to progress in the general education.
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    Old 02-03-11, 10:00 AM
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    Re: BASIC REFERENCE INFORMATION - 504, IEP, OHI, Wrightslaw

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MuscleMama View Post
    The Concord PAC has a very helpful website with information on assessments, schools, laws, and more. It also has recommendations of professionals whom PAC members have found helpful. Wrightslaw named it the best PAC site in the country! (Even though it's from a town in MA, there's a ton of useful info in their links)
    http://www.concordspedpac.org/

    From that site:
    What is the difference between a 504 and IEP?
    A 504 provides a student with accommodations, no remediation, or specialized education programs. It is used for students whose disability is NOT interfering with their ability to progress in the general education.
    That site has a ton of good info there and very nicely organized.
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    Old 04-20-11, 03:30 PM
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    Re: BASIC REFERENCE INFORMATION - 504, IEP, OHI, Wrightslaw

    so sorry about that link. I will look into it.
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    Old 09-21-11, 11:01 PM
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    Re: BASIC REFERENCE INFORMATION - 504, IEP, OHI, Wrightslaw

    Cranston, RI and I deeply thank all of your for your generous wealth of knowledge. My 9 yr old has ADD (Combined Type); Dyslexia; Disorder of Written Expression and Dysgraphia.

    The Neurological Ph.D. report and clinical result meeting concluded that he should receive an IEP. However, the 3 counts which was the formula:
    1. One or more disabilities; YES
    2. is not making effective progress in school as a result of the disability/disabilities; and YES
    3. Requires special education in order to make effective progress. DENIED (no surprise)

    I advise ALL parents to definitely have your doctor/advocate attend because it is intimidating and you are guided back after having been on a merry-go-round like discussion. I am now creating a letter to the Principal and the Assistant Superintendent of Schools outlining the Ph.D. Clinical Report, requesting their notification of specifically WHY he was denied and the 504 services they are saying "are just like" the IEP. They also said if he stays the same or fails after 6 weeks then they will re-evaluate. Meanwhile the kid (and I) are having so much 4th grade homework.

    What I found most infuriating is that the 504 was decided upon last June 14, 2011 and his new teacher, nor me had seen a formalized report in week 3 of classes. Errrrr.

    Thank you again for all the wonderful information. As a single mom with an 8 and 9 year old I am overwhelmed with all the research info. But I am the advocate for my child and I can only win...for him.

    "A child reaching out only needs to be acknowledged....won't you please respond
    to the child in me?"
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    Old 01-19-12, 11:31 PM
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    Re: BASIC REFERENCE INFORMATION - 504, IEP, OHI, Wrightslaw

    Ok, so I am going through all of this for the first time. My son is in Kindergarten, we got lucky and caught his combination ADHD early. They say he also has anxiety(emotional disturbance). To top that off, he is apparently gifted in his non-verbal reasoning skills/IQ but on average with his verbal skills/IQ. I'm trying to decide the best route to go with the school and feel like I've got two very conflicting issues. Does anyone have any advice/information how to deal with this? Its difficult to know what to do when he's disruptive in class and aggressive with other students, but is smarter than the rest of his class and is about the only one that will do his schoolwork with no problems. I'm at a total loss.
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