blank'/> Promoting Success: January 2009
         

Monday, January 19, 2009

What about Section 504? Who Qualifies?


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Section 504 is a federal law designed to protect the rights of individuals with disabilities in programs and activities that receive federal funds from the U.S. Department of Education (ED). Section 504 provides: "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 . . . ."

What services are available for students who qualify under Section 504?

Section 504 requires recipients to provide to students with disabilities appropriate educational services designed to meet the individual needs of such students to the same extent as the needs of students without disabilities are met. An appropriate education for a student with a disability under the Section 504 regulations could consist of education in regular classrooms, education in regular classes with supplementary services, and/or special education and related services.

What is a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity?

The determination of whether a student has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity must be made on the basis of an individual inquiry. The Section 504 regulation, at 34 C.F.R. 104.3(j)(2)(i), defines a physical or mental impairment as 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; genito-urinary; hemic and lymphatic; skin; and endocrine; or any mental or psychological disorder, such as mental retardation, organic brain syndrome, emotional or mental illness, and specific learning disabilities. The regulation does not set forth an exhaustive list of specific diseases and conditions that may constitute physical or mental impairments because of the difficulty of ensuring the comprehensiveness of such a list.

Does a medical diagnosis of an illness automatically qualify a student for services under Section 504?

No. A medical diagnosis of an illness does not automatically qualify a student for services under Section 504. The illness must cause a substantial limitation on the student's ability to learn or other major life activities. For example, a student who has a physical or mental impairment would not be considered a student in need of services under Section 504 if the impairment does not in any way limit the student's ability to learn or other major life activity, or only results in some minor limitation in that regard.

Click HERE for more information from the U.S. Department of Education.

Click HERE for more information from Wrightslaw.

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You may also like these autism and special education resources from our TpT store:

For a checklist of 175+ accommodations, click the picture:






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You may also like these Section 504 resources from our Amazon Associate store:


 Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act: Students with Disabilities, 2nd Edition


 Section 504: Classroom Accommodations Pamphlet

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Sunday, January 18, 2009

What is NCLB, IDEA, and LRE?

What is NCLB?
The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB) reauthorized the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) -- the main federal law affecting education from kindergarten through high school. Proposed by President Bush shortly after his inauguration, NCLB was signed into law on January 8th, 2002. NCLB is built on four principles: accountability for results, more choices for parents, greater local control and flexibility, and an emphasis on doing what works based on scientific research.

What is IDEA?
It is an acronym for the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, our nation's special education law. IDEA was first passed in 1975, where it was called the Education for All Handicapped Children's Act (PL 94-142.) Every few years, the law has been revised (a process called reauthorization.) The most current version of IDEA is Public Law 108-446, passed in 2004 and called the “Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004.” It's still most commonly referred to as IDEA, or IDEA 2004 (to distinguish it from other reauthorizations.) Final regulations for IDEA 2004 were published in 2006.

What is LRE?
IDEA emphasizes that special education is a service and not a place, and as such, supports and services should be delivered to the child in the least restrictive environment. This is based on the presumption that the general education environment is the first choice for educating all individuals.

Although IDEA provides that children with disabilities are to be educated with their nondisabled peers, to the maximum extent appropriate, the nature or the severity of the disability of a child may be such that education in regular classes with the use of supplementary aids and services cannot be achieved. In such cases, IDEA provides that schools make available a continuum of alternative placements to meet the needs of children with disabilities for special education and related services, including: instruction in regular classes; special classes; special schools; home instruction; and instruction in hospitals and institutions. The placement of a child in the LRE must be as close as possible to the child’s home.

How do I know if the student is in the LRE?
The team establishing the student’s placement must answer the following questions:
1. What accommodations, modifications and adaptations does the individual require to be successful in the general education environment?
2. Why is it not possible for these accommodations, modifications and adaptations be provided within the general education environment?
3. What supports are needed to assist the teacher and other personnel in providing these accommodations, modifications and adaptations?
4. How will receipt of special education services and activities in the general education environment impact this individual?
5. How will the provision of special education services and activities in the general education environment impact other students?

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Shelly Anton is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. ** This means there are Amazon affiliate links in these blog posts. This does not mean you pay a dime more when you purchase a product through the link. It just means I am trying to save you valuable teacher time by making it easier for you to find valuable resources for your students, and I earn a few cents for my research and time. Thank you for all you do for kids!

General Education Teacher as an IEP Team Member

The general education teacher participating in a student’s IEP meeting should be the teacher who is, or may be, responsible for providing services, accommodations, adaptations, modifications or supports for the student.
The general education teacher must participate, to the extent appropriate, in the development, review, and revision of the IEP for the student.

The general education teacher:
· participates in discussions about how best to teach the student;
· provides expertise regarding the general education curriculum and environment;
· assists in determining:
o appropriate positive behavioral interventions and strategies;
o special education services, activities and supports needed by the student;
o accommodations and modifications;
o support for school personnel; and
o assists in designing a program for the student that assures FAPE.
As an on-going member of the team:
· Provides services – as indicated on Page F of the IEP;
· Reviews and summarizes student progress;
· Relates student progress to district standards and benchmarks;
· Collects data and evaluates effective modifications and accommodations;
· Determines appropriate positive and behavioral interventions and strategies; and
· Assist in collecting data for monitoring progress on IEP goal.

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Shelly Anton is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. ** This means there are Amazon affiliate links in these blog posts. This does not mean you pay a dime more when you purchase a product through the link. It just means I am trying to save you valuable teacher time by making it easier for you to find valuable resources for your students, and I earn a few cents for my research and time. Thank you for all you do for kids!

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