TOP TEN ISSUES RE: SECTION 504

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TOP TEN ISSUES RE: SECTION 504. Jim Walsh. 1. Discipline. Students identified under 504 are entitled to a manifestation determination prior to a disciplinary change of placement. Easiest way to get in trouble: identify the student under 504; send to the DAEP without MDR. . - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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TOP TEN ISSUES RE: SECTION 504

TOP TEN ISSUES RE: SECTION 504Jim Walsh

1. DisciplineStudents identified under 504 are entitled to a manifestation determination prior to a disciplinary change of placement. Easiest way to get in trouble: identify the student under 504; send to the DAEP without MDR. 2. Broad CoverageDrop the term educational need when discussing 504. The focus is on ANY major life activity. This could be breathing, walking, eating, sleeping. Many 504 students will do very well academically but have health issuesallergies, asthma, diabetes are common. 3. Child FindAs with IDEA, there is a duty to refer kids when we see indications of possible disability. Your policy of non-discrimination must be widely disseminated in ways likely to reach parents, providers and students. 4. ImplementationMake sure teachers take 504 plans as seriously as IEPs. Get the plan initialed to prove that teacher knows about it.Monitor for compliance. Take corrective action when teachers fail to provide required accommodations. 5. A Strong Coordinator504 Coordinator should have authority, not just responsibility. A random selection of teachers should be able to tell you who the 504 Coordinator is. If they cannot do so, OCR would infer that you have not publicized your policies very well. 6. 504 Continues After SchoolDuty to accommodate applies to ALL school activities, including extracurriculars. See recent OCR Dear Colleague letter about athletics. Train coaches, sponsors on the duty to provide equal opportunity and accommodations. 7. You Need DataChild should not be identified under 504 on parent request alone. You need some data from a qualified person to verify the existence of a physical or mental impairment. You would not identify a student for special ed without datasame holds true here. Refer to the guidance in The Blue Book for dyslexia evaluations.

8. Evaluation504 requires you to evaluate the student to determine if he/she qualifies. This does not necessarily mean formal testing by school staffparents already have information from doctors and other qualified professionals that can be relied upon.9. HearingsSome one soon is going to request a 504 Hearing in your district. Look to your policy to respondFB Local.District provides the hearing, appoints a hearing officer. 10. 504 Claims on the RiseThe law has changed, giving broader coverage. Lawyers, advocates and parents are more aware of 504 than they were five years ago.Many lawsuits cite 504 in an effort to impose liability on districtsbullying, discrimination, etc. 504 a more attractive tool for plaintiffs than IDEA. What You Can DoThe best way to avoid legal problems with 504 is to comply with 504. This requires strong leadership and good training. JIM WALSHWalsh, Anderson, Gallegos, Green & Trevio, P.C.P.O. Box 2156Austin, Texas 78768Phone: 512-454-6864Fax: 512-467-9318Email: jwalsh@wabsa.com Web: www.WalshAnderson.com Twitter: http://twitter.com/JWalshtxlawdawgThe information in this handout was created by Walsh, Anderson, Gallegos, Green and Trevio, P.C. It is intended to be used for general information only and is not to be considered specific legal advice. If specific legal advice is sought, consult an attorney.

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