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Special Education Law: Section 504

Overview

If a child is unable to qualify for special education services through an IEP, it may be possible for the student to receive accommodations through a 504 plan.  29 U.S.C. § 794.  This statute provides that an individual with a disability shall not be excluded from participation in any federally funded program or activity, which includes public school districts. Id.; see 20 U.S.C. § 7801.  To be classified as disabled an individual must have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits at least one major life activity. 29 U.S.C. § 705(20); see 42 U.S.C. § 12102.  Section 504 also requires FAPE that meets the individual needs of the handicapped person as adequately as the non-handicapped.  34 C.F.R. 104.33(b)(1).  To qualify an evaluation must be performed that is tailored to assess specific areas of educational need and accurately reflect student’s abilities regardless of any impairment.  Id. at §104.35.  When making determinations of educational placements the decision maker must rely on academic data and those with knowledge about the student.  Id.  Students must receive any aid, benefit, or service essential to carrying out the act at no cost to parents or child.  Id. at § 104.33.  Students may receive services like transportation, counseling, health services, and physical education.  Id. at § 104.37.  

Assistive Technology

Assistive technology device - The term “assistive technology device” means any item, piece of equipment, or product system, whether acquired commercially, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities.

Assistive technology service - The term “assistive technology service” means any service that directly assists an individual with a disability in the selection, acquisition, or use of an assistive technology device.

 

20 U.S.C. 1401(1); 29 U.S.C. § 3002(4).


Department of Justice Guidance

National Institutes of Health Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders

Georgia Project for Assistive Technology

Cleveland State University Adaptive Technology Lab

Examples:

Slanted Writing Boards

Braille Readers

Large Print Readers

FM System

Speech to Text Technology

Closed Captioning