Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act
If your child has a medical condition or other disability that impacts his or her daily activities, but he or she is not having problems in the classroom, you may be wondering what rights your child has at school. For example, a student with asthma may need the school to make changes to his or her schedule, or a child with ADD or ADHD may need extra support for keeping track of his assignments.
At Kirsch-Goodwin & Kirsch you will find an Arizona law firm who can give you the answers you need for all types of education law issues. Our personal and practical experience gives our law firm the ability to represent parents and children.
- Lori Kirsch-Goodwin is a trial lawyer and the proud mother of a teenage son with Asperger's syndrome. Lori learned firsthand how to navigate the special education system as an advocate for her son, and she draws on those experiences as she helps parents and families throughout Arizona facing similar questions.
- Hope Kirsch is an education lawyer who also holds bachelor's and master's degrees in special education. In addition, she has 12 years of experience teaching and supervising special education classes.
For more information about how we can help you stand up for your child, contact our Scottsdale education law firm or call our office at 480-585-0600.
What is Section 504?
A federal law called Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504) requires schools that receive federal funds to provide a free appropriate public education to qualified children with disabilities. In Arizona, all public schools, including charter schools, receive federal funds and this means that they must comply with Section 504. This means that schools must:
- Provide disabled students with a free and appropriate public education
- Evaluate children with disabilities
- Not discriminate against students on the basis of disability
Understanding the Eligibility Requirements of Section 504
Section 504 defines child with a disability differently than the IDEA. Disability is more expansive under 504; a child with a disability under 504 is one who has a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities. Students who may qualify for a Section 504 Plan include those who have illnesses or injuries; communicable diseases; chronic conditions such as asthma, allergies and diabetes; and learning problems (since LEARNING is a MAJOR LIFE ACTIVITY). A child with a disability who does not qualify for special education under the IDEA may, therefore, qualify for a 504 Plan which will provide the child with accommodations.
Students with disabilities as defined by Section 504 are entitled to receive regular education with accommodations that enable the student to have an equal opportunity to perform at the same level as their peers. Accommodations in a 504 Plan are those that provide an equal opportunity to the student participate in school alongside his or her peers. Examples of accommodations include:
- Wheelchair ramps for accessibility
- Modified desk and/or chair
- Additional time to complete homework assignments
- Extra set of text books so that one set can be kept at home
- More frequent breaks or changes to a school routine if needed because of the disability
- Assistive technology such as a tape recorder or access to a computer/laptop
- A scribe to take notes
If your child is having difficulties because of a disability and needs supportive services, our firm can help. We are proud to represent families who are experiencing difficulty working with their school in the development or execution of their student's 504 plan.
Dedicated Arizona Section 504 Special Education Attorneys
For more information about how we can help your child, call our Arizona education law firm at 480-585-0600
orcontact our office online