Section 504 and Schools - Montgomery County Schools, NC

Report
 Federal
civil rights law that protects people
with disabilities from discrimination
 Requires schools to make programs and
activities accessible to people with
disabilities through necessary
accommodations, modifications and/or
services
 The purpose of 504 is to “level the playing
field”
 Special
Education
 Appropriately used for aiding “Slow
Learners”
 Appropriately used to help a child reach
his/her “full potential”
 Automatically for every student with a
medical diagnosis of disability
 Appropriate for a student who needs simple
changes that any good teacher normally does
A person is qualified for protection within the
scope of Section 504 if they:
Have a mental or physical impairment that
substantially limits a “Major Life Activity”
(It is important to note however that not
everyone who qualifies for protection under
Section 504 qualifies to have a 504 plan)
 Pretty
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much anything that most people do
Eating
- Breathing
Sleeping
- Speaking
Walking
- Learning
Seeing
- Concentrating
Hearing
- Working
“Major Bodily Functions”
(immunity, cell growth, endocrine function,
elimination, digestion, etc…)
 Referral
can be made by:
Parent
 Teacher
 Physician
 Nurse
 Counselor
 Etc…
Process must be clear and available for use
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 Evaluation
means gathering information
needed to make an informed decision
 Evaluation does not always mean testing
 Evaluation is a team process
 In Evaluating for 504 eligibility the team
needs to use multiple sources of
information
The 504 team should consist of people
knowledgeable about:
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The child
The disability
The meaning of the evaluation data
Placement options
 Sources
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of information may include:
School records
Disciplinary records
Observations
EOG Scores
Interviews
Attendance logs
Medical records
Vision or hearing screenings
Etc, etc, etc…
A
doctor letter, by itself, does not determine
eligibility.
 Evaluation must address:
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The nature and extent of the disability
Its effect on Major Life Activities
Recommended accommodations or services
 Effects
of the disability must be evident in
the school setting to require a 504 plan
 Periodic Re-Evaluation is required
 What
needs to be done to enable a student
to participate in the general education
program
 Accommodations must be individualized
 Designed to meet the needs of disabled
students “as adequately as” the needs of
other students are met
 Modifications can be made to general
education programs or the provision of
different programs may be needed
 Test
accommodations may only be used if the
same accommodations are in regular use in
the classroom
 Disabled students should have access to the
same extra-curricular and after school
activities available to their peers
 Accommodations are intended only to “level
the playing field” for the disabled student
 Environmental
 Organizational
 Behavioral
 Presentation
 Evaluation
Environmental
 Structured
learning environment
 Student seating
 Re-organization of classroom materials
 Study carrel or adapted desk
 Access to elevator
Organizational
 Organizational
systems (ie: color coding)
 Write out homework assignments
 Set time expectations
 Binders
Behavioral
 Behavior
management techniques
 Behavior contracts
 Positive reinforcement
 Logical consequences
Create and be consistent with Behavior Plan!
Presentation
 Taped
lessons for re-play
 Computer aided instruction
 Alternative textbooks
 Highlighted worksheets
 Peer tutoring
Be aware of differing student learning styles
and match instructional materials…
Evaluation
 Limit
amount of material on each page
 Provide practice tests
 Oral testing
 Divide tests into segments
 Extended time
 Decrease external stimulation
Discipline for students served under Section 504
is consistent with that for students served
under IDEA…
If infraction warrants a suspension of 10+ days, a
“Manifestation Determination” must be made
(AKA: Causal Relationship)
 Administrator
determines if the student
committed the infraction
 504 team determines if the behavior was
caused by the disability
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If behavior was caused by the disability a review
of the accommodation/behavior plan must occur
If behavior was not caused by the disability then
disciplinary action proceeds as for any other
student.
 Parent
must receive prior notice of
eligibility meeting
 Parent must give consent prior to
individualized testing
 Parent must be given notice of rights
upon referral, upon eligibility
determination , and at annual review
 Parent must be given notification in
writing of placement decisions
 Parent must be provided with an appeal
procedure including an impartial hearing
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Serve as liaison between school and district 504 office
Serve as liaison between your school and other schools
Provide in-service training to school staff on 504
procedures
Monitor provision of 504 plans
Ensure that teachers receive copies of 504 Plans
Schedule and facilitate review of all 504 Plans annually
Forward copy of 504 Plan to extracurricular and after
school programs (driver ed, learning academy, summer
school)
Ensure that a copy of the 504 Plan is added to the
student’s Personal Education Plan
 Qualifying
students who do not have an
impairment so they can “get help”
 “Deliberate Indifference” – not providing a plan
for a student who clearly qualifies for one
 Bill of Rights not given to parents
 No identified and specified referral system
 No grievance procedure
 No appeal process
 No one at system level to coordinate program
Questions?

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