Section 504 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) are civil rights laws that guarantee that “no otherwise qualified person shall be excluded solely on the basis of a disability.” This means schools must identify students who have disabilities and provide supports and services to ensure these students have the same opportunity to access all programs and activities at the school they are qualified for despite the disabilities.
To qualify for a 504 plan, there are two requirements:
- A child has any disability, which can include many learning or attention issues.
- The disability must interfere with the child’s ability to learn in a general education classroom. Section 504 has a broader definition of a disability than IDEA. That’s why a child who doesn’t qualify for an IEP might still be eligible for a 504 plan.
Examples of disabilities which are addressed by 504 plans include ADHD, diabetes, asthma, depression and health-related issues.
Speak to your child’s Teacher, Guidance Counselor or the Student Assistance Team to ask about an evaluation for ADA/504.
If you would like a copy of your Parent Rights under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and California Education Code, please contact your school administrator. You may also contact the district.
If you and your child's school have tried a variety of changes in general education and they have not ben effective, the Student Assistance Team will make a referral for special education assessment. Parents can also request an assessment at any time. You should submit your request in writing, date it and note all areas of concern. Return the request to the school administrator or counselor. Special education is guided by legislation called the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
Within 15 days of your request, you will receive either:
- An Assessment Plan noting areas in which your child will be assessed; or
- A notice that the district declines to assess, with reasons given. You have the right to appeal this decision.
If you receive the Assessment Plan, you must sign it and return to the school.
Within 60 days of receipt of the signed Assessment Plan, all assessments will be completed and an Individual Education Program (IEP) meeting will be held to discuss your child’s eligibility. If your child is eligible, an IEP will be developed. An IEP will include specific goals to address your child’s needs, and services to support those goals.