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Overview of Section 504 LWSD PTSA Meeting November 26, 2013
Presentation Overview • Section 504 plans • Historical Perspective • Eligibility and Accommodations • Role of 504 Coordinator and team members • Section 504 and IDEA • Discipline Implications • Due Process Rights
LWSD Types of Plans: • 504 Learning Plan (504 site coordinator) • Individual Health Plans (school nurse) • 504 Learning Plan and Individual Health Plan
Who makes the decision about which plan/s is needed for a student? • “Learning Plans” ~ the Building 504 Coordinator • “Individual Health Plans” ~ School Health Service Provider (e.g. Nurse) • Learning Plan and Individual Health Plan ~ Both the Building 504 Coordinator and the School Health Service Provider • The 504 Coordinator monitors the Learning Plan • The Health Service Provider monitors the Individual Health Plan Please Note: The Individual Health Plan is attached to the 504 Plan.
504 Background • The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 • Section 504 is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of a person’s disability • Section 504 is a federal civil rights law that is designed to eliminate disability discrimination in programs and activities that receive federal funds. • Public Schools are recipients of Federal funds and are obligated to comply with this law. • Under Section 504, denying a disabled student a free appropriate public education constitutes disability discrimination.
504- Who Qualifies? • A qualified student • Must have a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits a major life activity (e.g. learning, behavior, mental). • Learning is considered “substantially limited” if compared to his/her age/peers, the student has significant limitations. • Qualified person with disability must be provided aids, benefits, or services as effective as those provided non disabled students.
504: Definitions • Physical or mental impairment means: • Any physiological or psychological disorder or condition • The definition of physical or mental impairment under Section 504 is broad, and includes: Students with life threatening health conditions (conditions that will put a student in danger of death during the school day if a medication or treatment order and a nursing plan are not in place), and is not limited to any specific diseases or categories of medical conditions.
504: Definitions • The Department’s Section 504 regulations’ list of non-exhaustive major life activities is: • Caring for oneself • Performing manual tasks • Walking • Seeing • Behavior • Hearing • Speaking • Breathing • Learning • Working
504: Definitions • The ADA Amendments Act also includes a non-exhaustive list of major life activities: • General: • Eating • Sleeping • Standing • Lifting • Bending • Reading • Concentrating • Thinking • Communicating • Major Bodily Functions: • Functions of the immune system • Normal cell growth • Digestive • Bowel Functions • Bladder • Brain • Circulatory • Endocrine • Reproductive • Neurological • Respiratory
504: Definitions Mitigating Measures Are devices or practices that a person uses to correct or reduce the effects of that person’s mental or physical impairment. (e.g. corrective eye glasses and medications) these measures need to be disregarded when determining whether a student’s impairment constitutes a disability under Section 504.
504: Definitions • Districts and courts have turned to the Americans With Disability Act for guidance. Although Section 504 does not define the term “substantially limits,” this term is used in the ADA and is defined in the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (E.E.O.C.) regulations interpreting the ADA. The relevant regulation defines “substantially limits” to mean as follows: • Unable to perform a major life activity that the average person of the same age in the general population can perform; or • Significantly restricted as to the condition, manner or duration under which an individual can perform a particular major life activity as compared to the condition, manner, or duration under which the average person of the same age in the general population can perform that same major life activity.
504 Process: Regarding Episodic Impairment Episodic Impairment • An impairment that is episodic or in remission is a disability, if it would substantially limit a major life activity when active. • Bottom line: Whether a district needs to develop a 504 plan, however, depends on whether the student’s impairment results in the need for an accommodation or some other type of related aid or service.
504 Process: Regarding Temporary Impairment Temporary Impairment: • An impairment that is temporary (with an actual or expected duration of 6 months or less) is a disability if it is severe enough to substantially limit a major life activity for the student. • Bottom line: Temporary and severe impact constitutes a disability; temporary and minor impact does not constitute a disability.
504 Process • Who makes up a 504 team? Minimum of two or more persons who have knowledge of the child, the meaning of evaluation data, and accommodations/placement options: (e.g. general education teacher, 504 monitor, parent, and other people knowledgeable of the student and who meet the above criteria)
Types of Accommodations Change the instructional arrangement • Large group • Cooperative learning group • Peer partners • Individual instruction • Independent seat work Change the lesson format • Lecture, demonstration, practice • Whole class discussion • Games and simulations • Experiential learning Change the curriculum • Same content/less material • Same subject area/functional applications • Change of sequence • Alter pace of the lesson • Provide a variety of activities Change teaching style • Give more prompts or cues • Provide written and verbal instructions • Use more physical guidance • Institute behavior management practices.
Types of Accommodations Modification of Physical Plant • Improve access to building • Increase access to classroom: • Change of seating increased aisle, etc Change in policies or procedures • Revised attendance policy • Modified discipline procedures Change Assessment • Adjusted format • Preferential seating • Adjust time Change Classroom management • Modify rules • Modify consequences • Develop behavior plans
IDEA and Section 504 How do they connect?
First a Comparison…. • Both the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504) are Federal laws that define requirements of state education agencies and districts. • However, the laws differ in their definitions and requirements as it relates to students with disabilities.
A ComparisonIDEA Section 504 • Federally Mandated and partially funded so state education agencies and districts to educate students with disabilities. • Disability definition includes children ages 3-21 who have one or more of 14 specific disabilities • Federal Civil Rights Law (unfunded) and Mandated to eliminate discrimination in all programs and activities that receive federal funds. • Disability definition applies to school-aged child who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.
IDEA Section 504 • Requires districts to provide FAPE (Free and Appropriate Public Education) • FAPE is defined as special education and related services. Related services only provided if student needs them to benefit from special education. • Requires districts to provide FAPE (Free and Appropriate Public Education) • FAPE is defined as regular or special education and related aids and services that are designed to meet a student’s individual educational needs and are based upon procedures that satisfy required evaluation, placement and due process procedures.
Can a student have an IEP and a 504 Plan? NO Student with disabilities pursuant to Section 504 include students who are eligible for Special Education, specially designed instruction and/or related services as a result of a disability that is impacting their ability to access education.
Can a student no longer eligible for an IEP receive 504 accommodations? YES It is often recommended for students who are no longer eligible or who are exiting from special education services to move onto a Section 504 plan if the team feels that the student would benefit from continued accommodations. However not all students who exit require or need 504 accommodations.
Can a student on a 504 plan move to an IEP? YES If a student’s disability worsens or begins to adversely effect their academic progress, a team can recommend, and with parent consent, initiate a special education evaluation to determine if the student meets the criteria of eligibility under IDEA.
Section 504 Discipline
Suspended or Expelled Students Students may not be suspended for behavior related to his/her disability or an inappropriate program. (Including the consideration of the student’s Individual Health Plan) Students may be suspended, like non disabled students, for behavior not related to his/her disability. Drug or alcohol related behavior is not protected under Section 504.
Section 504 and IDEA Discipline Same rule of law (Change of placement, manifestation determination) Different obligations to students with disabilities, long-term suspended or expelled Different obligations to drug/alcohol students No stay put under Section 504 No FBA or BIP review required
504 Discipline Ten Day Rule • 10 days in one school year • Not a pattern of exclusion • Length • Frequency • Total time • Nature of behavior No services are required
Section 504 Due Process Rights
What Rights to Parents/Guardians Have? • District must notify a student’s parent/guardian before the district takes any action regarding the identification, evaluation or placement of their child. • Section 504 requires parent consent prior to an initial evaluation and initial placement, but does not require consent for a reevaluation. • Allows for an impartial due process hearing procedure for parents/guardians who disagree with the identification, evaluation or placement of their child. • In Washington, districts conduct due process hearings
Enforcement and Monitoring of Section 504 • Enforced by the U.S. Department of Education , Office for Civil Rights (OCR) U. S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights Henry M. Jackson Federal Building 915 Second Ave, Room 3310 Seattle, WA 98174-1099 www.ed.gov/OCR Email address: OCR.Seattle@ed.gov
LWSD 504 Coordinator Stacey L. McCrath Lake Washington School District No. 414 16250 NE 74th Street Redmond, WA 98073 (425)936-1337 email@example.com
Helpful Resources • FAQs about Section 504 (OCR): www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/504faq.html • OSPI Civil Rights Guidelines: www.k12.wa.us/Equity/ProhibitingDiscrimination.aspx • A Parent and Educator Guide to Free Appropriate Public Education under Section 504 (Jim Rich, Puget Sound ESD): www.k12.wa.us/Equity/pubdocs/504ManualFinal.pdf • Q&A on the ADA Amendments Act (OCR): www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/docs/dcl-504faq-201109.html • OSPI Equity & Civil Rights Office (360)-726-6162 www.k12.wa.us/Equity