Special Education » Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973

NOTICE OF PARENT AND STUDENT RIGHTS UNDER SECTION 504

OF THE REHABILITATION ACT OF 1973

 

It is the intent of the Redondo Beach Unified School District that students that may have a disability under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and their parents be informed of their rights. (See Board Policy 6164.6)

 

The Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which includes "Section 504," is a nondiscrimination statute enacted by the United States Congress. The purpose of the Act is to prohibit discrimination and to assure that disabled students have educational opportunities and benefits equal to those provided to non-disabled students.

 

An eligible student under Section 504 is a student who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a "Major Life Activity," such as: seeing, hearing, eating, sleeping, walking, standing, lifting, bending, speaking, breathing, learning, reading, concentrating, thinking, writing, communicating, and working. Major life activities also includes major bodily functions such as functions of the immune system, special sense organs and skin, normal cell growth, digestive, bowel, bladder, neurological, brain, respiratory, circulatory, cardiovascular, endocrine, hemic, lymphatic, musculoskeletal, and reproductive functions, as well as the operation of an individual organ within a body system. The determination of whether an impairment substantially limits a student's major life activities shall be made without regard to the ameliorative effects of mitigating measures other than ordinary eyeglasses or contact lenses. Mitigating measures are measures that an individual may use to eliminate or reduce the effects of an impairment, including, but not limited to, medications, medical supplies or equipment, prosthetic devices, assistive devices, reasonable modifications or auxiliary aids or services, learned behavioral or adaptive neurological modifications, psychotherapy, behavioral therapy, or physical therapy.

 

Eligibility: Some students may also be eligible for educational services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 ("IDEIA").

 

The enabling regulations for Section 504, as set out in 34 C.F.R. Part 104, provide parents and/or students with the following rights:

 

Application: Section 504 protections apply to preschool, elementary, secondary, and adult school programs or activities that receive federal financial assistance and to the recipients of said federal financial assistance for the operation of such programs and activities. 34 C.F.R. Section 104.31

Parent/Guardian Rights: You have a right to be informed by the District of your rights under Section 504. 34 C.F.R. Section 104.33

FAPE: If eligible under Section 504, your child has the right to a free appropriate public education (FAPE) designed to meet his/her individual educational needs as adequately as the needs of non-disabled students are met. 34 C.F.R. Section 104.33

Academic Setting: Your child has a right to an education with persons who are not handicapped to the maximum extent appropriate. 34 C.F.R. Section 104.34

Comparable Facilities: If eligible under Section 504, your child has a right to facilities, services, and activities that are comparable to those provided for non-disabled students. 34 C.F.R. Section 104.34

Evaluations: Your child has a right to an evaluation prior to an initial Section 504 placement and prior to any subsequent significant change in placement. 34 C.F.R. Section 104.35

Evaluation Procedures: Testing and other evaluation procedures must conform to the requirements of 34 C.F.R. Section 104.35 as to validation and administration, to ensure that they assess specific areas of educational need and are administered by trained and knowledgeable personnel. 34 C.F.R. Section 104.35

Placement: Placement decisions must be made by a group of persons, including persons knowledgeable about your child, drawing upon evaluation data from a variety of sources, which is documented and reviewed to consider the placement options and the legal requirements in conformity with the least restrictive environment and comparable facilities requirements. 34 C.F.R. Section 104.35

Re-evaluations: If eligible under Section 504, your child has a right to periodic re-evaluations prior to any significant change in placement. 34 C.F.R. Section 104.35

Notice: You have the right to receive notice as to yours and your child's rights as they pertain to the right to examine records, the right to an impartial hearing, the right to be represented by counsel, and the right to a review procedure concerning any decisions made on behalf of your child. 34 C.F.R. Section 104.36

Nonacademic Services: Your child has the right to an equal opportunity to participate in nonacademic and extracurricular services and activities in such manner as is necessary to afford handicapped students an equal opportunity for participation in such services and activities. 34 C.F.R. Section 104.37

Records: You have the right to examine relevant educational records of your child.  34 C.F.R. Section 104.36

Periodic Review: If eligible under Section 504, your child has a right to a periodic review of his or her Section504 plan. Such meetings generally occur one time per year. However, if you believe that changes may be necessary to effectuate your child's educational program, you may request a Section 504 Plan meeting. The meeting shall be held within a reasonable period of time after receiving the parents' request.

Due Process Procedures: You may have the right to an impartial hearing with respect to the District's action regarding your

child's identification, evaluation, or educational placement, with opportunity for parental participation in the hearing and representation by an attorney. 34 C.F.R. Section 104.36

 

If a parent/guardian disagrees with any district action or decision regarding the identification, evaluation, or educational placement of his/her child under Section 504, he/she may request a Section 504 due process hearing within 30 days of that action or decision.

Prior to requesting a Section 504 due process hearing, the parent/guardian may, at his/her discretion, but within 30 days of the district's action or decision, request an administrative review of the action or decision. The Coordinator shall designate an appropriate administrator to meet with the parent/guardian to attempt to resolve the issue and the administrative review shall be held within 14 days of receiving the parent/guardian's request. If the parent/guardian is not satisfied with the resolution of the issue, or if the parent/guardian did not request an administrative review, he/she may request a Section 504 due process hearing.

 

A Section 504 due process hearing shall be conducted in accordance with the following procedures:

  1. The parent/guardian shall submit a written request to the Coordinator within 30 days of receiving the district's decision or, if an administrative review is held, within 14 days of the completion of the review. The request for the due process hearing shall include:
    1. The specific nature of the decision with which he/she disagrees
    2. The specific relief he/she seeks
    3. Any other information he/she believes is pertinent to resolving the disagreement
  2. Within 30 days of receiving the parent/guardian's request, the Superintendent or designee and 504 Coordinator shall select an impartial hearing officer. This 30-day deadline may be extended for good cause or by mutual agreement of the parties.
  3. Within 45 days of the selection of the hearing officer, the Section 504 due process hearing shall be conducted and a written decision mailed to all parties. This 45-day deadline may be extended for good cause or by mutual agreement of the parties.
  4. The parties to the hearing shall be afforded the right to:
    1. Be accompanied and advised by legal counsel and by individuals with special knowledge or training related to the problems of students with disabilities under Section 504
    2. Present written and oral evidence
    3. Question and cross-examine witnesses
    4. Receive written findings by the hearing officer stating the decision and explaining the reasons for the decision

If desired, either party may seek a review of the hearing officer's decision by a federal court of competent jurisdiction.

 

If you should disagree with the Section 504 decision regarding your child and have a need for further information or assistance with filing a grievance or requesting an impartial hearing, please contact:

 

Jessica Silberling

Executive Director, Special Education

1401 Inglewood Ave.

Redondo Beach, CA 90278

(310) 798-8683