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Section 504 & the ADAAA: How Changes in the Law Impact Your Child with a Disability or Special Health Care Need. Training Agenda. Legal Background Section 504 & Public Schools Overview 504 Evaluation 504 Plan & Services Procedural Safeguards. Legal Background. What is Section 504?.

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Section 504 & the ADAAA: How Changes in the Law Impact Your Child with a Disability or Special Health Care Need

Training agenda
Training Agenda

Legal Background

Section 504 & Public Schools Overview

504 Evaluation

504 Plan & Services

Procedural Safeguards

What is section 504
What is Section 504?

Part of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, a national civil rights law

It prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability by any program or activity (including schools) that receive federal financial assistance

What section 504 says
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, or

be subjected to discrimination

under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”

Related laws idea and section 504
Related Laws:IDEA* and Section 504

Both may provide services and protections to students with disabilities

All students found to be eligible under IDEA are also protected by Section 504, but not all students protected by Section 504 are eligible under IDEA

If 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 Act

Idea 504 diagram
IDEA/504 Diagram

All Students

Students with disabilities

504-eligible students

IDEA-eligible students

Related laws section 504 americans with disabilities act amendments act adaaa of 2008
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), and

    • All 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 schools

  • Courts and Office for Civil Rights (OCR) indicate that schools should follow 504 regulations to comply with ADAAA Title II

Ada amendments act of 2008 adaaa
ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA)

Requires that the definition of disability be interpreted broadly

The new definition of disability in the ADAAA must be used when determining Section 504 eligibility

Person with a disability adaaa 504 definition
Person with a Disability: ADAAA/504 Definition

Does the student:

have a physical or mental impairment*

which substantially limits

one or more major life activities?

*or has a record of having an impairment or is regarded as having an impairment

504 adaaa disability definition part 1 impairment
504/ADAAA Disability Definition Part 1:Impairment

Any physiological condition that affects a bodily system, or any mental or psychological disorder

504 adaaa disability definition part 2 substantial limitation
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.)

504 adaaa disability definition part 3 major life activity
504/ADAAA Disability Definition Part 3:Major Life Activity

Added by ADAAA










Section 504

  • Caring for oneself

  • Performing manual tasks

  • Walking

  • Seeing

  • Hearing

  • Speaking

  • Breathing

  • Learning

  • Working

Additional major life activities bodily functions
Additional Major Life Activities (Bodily Functions)






Immune system

Normal cell growth





Test your knowledge
Test Your Knowledge

What is the name of the law that includes Section 504?

What are the three parts of the definition of disability under Section 504?

Section 504 and public schools
Section 504 and Public Schools

Section 504 and public schools1
Section 504 and Public Schools

Intent of civil rights laws is to provide equal opportunity and prevent discrimination based on disability

Public schools must provide FAPE (free appropriate public education) to each qualified student with a disability

504 fape what is an appropriate education
504 & FAPE: What is an appropriate education?

  • Meets a student's individual needs as adequately as the needs of nondisabled students are met

  • Places students with their nondisabled peers to the maximum extent appropriate

  • Includes evaluation and placement procedures

  • Establishes due process procedures

Overview the 504 process
Overview: The 504 Process



Eligibility Determination

Development of 504 Plan



Evaluation referral
Evaluation Referral

Districts: Have “child find” obligation to evaluate students who they suspect may have a disability

Parents: 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 activities

Purpose of evaluation
Purpose of Evaluation

Does the student have a disability under Section 504?

If so, what are the student’s individual education needs?

Section 504 evaluation requirements
Section 504 Evaluation Requirements

The evaluation must:

Use valid tests conducted by trained personnel

Assess all areas of educational need

Accurately reflect achievement rather than disability

Be completed in a reasonable amount of time

Include process for periodic reevaluation

Medical diagnosis and 504
Medical Diagnosis and 504

Medical diagnosis is not needed for Section 504 eligibility

If 504 placement team determines a diagnosis is required, the evaluation must be conducted at no cost to the parents

If a child does have a medical diagnosis, it does not automatically qualify the student for 504 services



“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 days

504 plan services
504 Plan & Services

504 team
504 Team

Might Include:

  • Principal

  • Social Worker

  • Counselor

  • Psychologist

  • Nurse

  • Other School Staff

  • Parent

People who:

are knowledgeable about the student,

can interpret data, and

know the placement options

Determining 504 eligibility services
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 recommendations

Physical condition

Child’s social & cultural background

Adaptive behavior

Other sources of information (parents, doctors, etc.)

504 plan
504 Plan

Plan describes all services and accommodations to be provided to meet student’s individual needs

Written plan is not required, but is considered good practice and should be requested by parents

Types of educational settings
Types of Educational Settings

Students must be placed in regular classrooms to the maximum extent appropriate

  • Regular classes

  • Regular classes with supplemental services

  • Special education and related services

Types of supplemental services
Types of Supplemental Services

Examples include accommodations and modifications such as:

  • Removal of physical barriers

  • Extended time for testing

  • Adjustment of class schedule

  • Rest periods

  • Use of aids (calculators, recorders, notetakers, modified textbooks, etc.)

  • Individualized homework assignments

Types of related services
Types of Related Services

Physical therapy

Counseling, psychological, or social work services

Assistive technology

Speech & language services

Occupational therapy

Medical Services

Staff training

Non academic services
Non-Academic Services

Section 504 also prohibits discrimination against students with disabilities in non-academic settings:

  • Before and after-school programs

  • Field trips

  • Extracurricular activities & athletics

  • Career/guidance services

  • Transportation

Test your knowledge1
Test Your Knowledge

What are the six steps in the 504 process, beginning with “referral”?

Who are potential members of a Section 504 team?

What is the timeline for completing a Section 504 evaluation?

Procedural safeguards1
Procedural Safeguards


Records review by parent or guardian

Due process -- impartial hearing with participation by parent and counsel

A review procedure

504 coordinator and grievance procedures
504 Coordinator and Grievance Procedures

School Districts must:

Establish grievance procedures for resolving complaints

Designate a 504 Coordinator to ensure compliance

Inform parents and students about the grievance process

Additional dispute resolution options
Additional Dispute Resolution Options

  • U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights complaint (must be filed within 180 days)

  • Legal action in Federal Court

No retaliation
No Retaliation

Districts may not retaliate against individuals for:

  • asserting rights under 504/Title II

  • opposing disability discrimination

  • participating ina complaint process or hearing

Test your knowledge2
Test Your Knowledge

What are the four types of procedural safeguards under Section 504?

Section 504 public schools review interactive activities
Section 504 & Public Schools Review: Interactive Activities

  • Section 504 & IDEA Scenarios

  • Sample 504 Plans

Sample 504 accommodations services
Sample 504 Accommodations & Services

Child with adhd
Child with ADHD

  • Extra time to complete work

  • Strategies for staying on task

  • Reduced assignment length

  • Two sets of books

  • Supervision on outings

  • Quiet room for tests

  • Supervision of medication administration

Child with diabetes
Child with Diabetes

  • Private space and time to monitor glucose levels

  • Ability to eat snacks when needed

  • Opportunity to make up work missed due to illness

  • Health plan that includes training staff to administer insulin shots at school or on field trips

Child with severe food allergies
Child with Severe Food Allergies

Development of emergency health plan

Lunch table free from allergen (e.g. “peanut free zone”)

Ability to store safe snacks at school for special occasions

Supervision of administration of medication

Child with learning disabilities
Child with Learning Disabilities

Notetaker for class lectures

Shortened homework assignments

Assistive technology such as audio textbooks

Extended time for tests

Child with anxiety disorder
Child with Anxiety Disorder

Extended time for tests

Supervision of administration of medication

Time for appointments with counselors/others

Modified schedule

Ability to take breaks in quiet setting

Child with arthritis
Child with Arthritis

  • Modified schedule

  • Movement plan to avoid stiffness

  • Assistance with carrying (books, lunch tray, band instruments, etc.)

  • Assistive technology or notetaker

  • Medication assistance


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 Regulations

IDEA/504 & ADAA Workshop (SPAN)

Free Appropriate Public Education for Students with Disabilities: Requirements under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (OCR)

References cont
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)

Office for civil rights
Office for Civil Rights

National OCR Headquarters: 800-421-3481

Find your regional OCR office (also listed on next slide):

Complaint Information:

Ocr regional offices http www2 ed gov about offices list ocr addresses html
OCR – Regional Offices