Division of Special Education and Educational Services Miami-Dade County Public Schools Section 504
State / Federal Requirements • School Board of Miami-Dade County Section 2260.01 • No otherwise qualified individual with a disability in the United States, as defined in Section 705(20) of this title, shall, solely by reason of her of his disability be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.
Section 504 – General Overview • The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 defines a person with disabilities as any person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, has a record of such impairment, or is regarded as having an impairment.
Section 504 – General Overview • A parent, teacher, or other member of the school staff may raise a concern about a student’s unique need for special help and request a meeting to consider whether the student has such a disability.
Section 504 – General Overview • If the team determines that the student does have such a disability, they will then identify what types of support, or accommodations, are appropriate to meet the student’s needs and write a 504 Plan
Discrimination: Examples • Denying credit to a student whose excused absenteeism is related to his/her disabling condition. • Expelling a student and denying access for behavior caused by his/her disability. • Refusing to dispense medication to a student who could not attend school otherwise.
Discrimination: Examples • Disallowing participation in a science laboratory activity / class because the lab stations are not accessible. • Refusing to provide amplification for a student with a hearing impairment in a lecture hall despite an accommodation plan requiring additional amplification. • Prohibiting field trip participation.
Revisions to Section 504 Law • Significant Changes to Section 504 • Expansion of Major Life Activities • Impairments that are episodic or in remission • New Mitigating Measure Rule
Section 504 Bylaws and Policies • School Board of Miami-Dade County 2260.01 • Students experiencing difficulty in the classroom should initially be referred to the School Support Team. • The SST shall determine whether it is appropriate to refer the student for possible 504 services. • Students with obvious physical or health needs that require accommodations need not go through the SST process to be referred for Section 504 eligibility determination
Section 504 - Referral • Parent or teacher initiates a request • A disability is suspected • A student exhibits chronic health condition • A student exhibits academic, learning, or behavioral problems and traditional approaches have been ineffective • When a student exhibits a pattern of suspensions or expulsions • A student is evaluated but ineligible under IDEA (not an automatic consideration)
504 & Response to Interventi0n • RtI exists for all students • It is a Multi Tiered System of Supports • RtI may identify the need for SPED when there is both a *disability and the need for Specially Designed Instruction • 504 is an entitlement that prevents discrimination (lack of access to education) for students who are considered disabled with limitation in a major life function. • *LD, EBD, LI
504 and Tier Intervention • Intervention Should Not be Confused with Accommodation • Intervention Teaches, Remediates, and Reinforces • Accommodation Removes Barriers to Accessing Education and Need is Based on the Functional Relationship of the Disability Produced Barrier to Access • Example: ADHD • Intervention- Self Monitoring with Positive Reinforcement • Accommodations- Teacher monitoring of agenda, extended time for testing, guided notes • SPED Usually Provides Both
Section 504 Team • Must include a team of staff knowledgeable about the student, the evaluation(s) and the accommodations • May include the following personnel: • Parents • General and Special Education Teachers • Behavior Management Teachers • School Counselors • Administrators • School Psychologists • Staffing Specialists
Section 504 Evaluation • OCR – Requires districts to obtain parental consent for initial evaluation • Evaluation must be sufficient to provide information to determine the existence of a disability • 504 Team determines what data is necessary • May require less complex data when making decision for a temporary impairment • If the 504 Team believes that the student with a disability may need special education, a special education referral should be initiated
Section 504 Evaluation • 504 Team must draw from a variety of sources: • May include a formal assessment • District / State / Achievement Assessments • Report Card Grades • Teacher Observations • Classroom Performance / Portfolio • FAB / BIP • Medical Information • Adaptive Behavior • Other
Evaluation – APD • Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) was formerly known as Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD) • Private Evaluations need to follow the district review/referral process to determine eligibility criteria. • Eligibility for Section 504 should not be considered for APD prior to the review/referral process. • Contact your Educational Audiologist for details and a referral packet. • For Additional Information, refer to DOE TAP #10967
Equipment Requests – FM-Units • Section 504 eligibility should not be utilized as a means of obtaining FM-units or to receive Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing Itinerant Services. Students should be considered for eligibility under IDEA first. • RtI is not required for students referred for consideration for D/HH. • An Audiological Evaluation is not enough information on it’s own to determine a student eligible for services and/or an FM-unit. • When in doubt call the Deaf/HH Dept. at 305-274-3501
Essential Element - Impairment • Prong 1 – Current Impairment • Physical or Mental Impairment • Temporary Impairments • Impairments That Are Episodic • Impairments That Are In Remission • Age and conditions resulting from cultural, environmental, or economic factors are not considered disabilities under Section 504
Physical Impairment • Any physiological disorder or condition, cosmetic disfigurement, or anatomical loss affecting one or more of the following body systems: • Neurological Genito-Urinary • Musculoskeletal Hemic / Lymphatic • Special sense organs Skin • Respiratory Endocrine • Speech Organs Cardiovascular • Digestive Lymphatic • Reproductive
Mental Impairment • Any mental or psychological disorder • Mental Retardation • Organic Brain Syndrome • Emotional Illness • Mental Illness • Specific Learning Disabilities
Temporary Impairment • A Temporary Impairment is an impairment with an actual or expected duration of 6 months or less • Students with Temporary Impairments are ineligible for the McKay Scholarship • Temporary Impairment must be indicated on a 504 Plan
Episodic Impairments • An impairment that is episodic is a disability if it would substantially limit a major life activity when active. • Cannot deny eligibility simply because the disability may ebb and flow in severity. • Allergies • Asthma • Migraines • Cystic Fibrosis • Auto-immune disorders • Sickle-Cell
Impairments In Remission • An impairment that is in remission is a disability if it would substantially limit a major life activity when active. • Requires the 504 Team to look back at the time when the impairment was not in remission rather than current data. • Cancer
Essential Element - Substantial Limitation • Condition, manner, or duration under which the average student of the same age / grade level in the general population can perform the same life activity • An impairment alone is not a disability • Webster Definition of Substantial includes: • Real, true, not imaginary • Important, essential • Considerable in quantity • Significantly great
Mitigating Measures • Mitigating Measures are services or things provided to the student or used by the student to decrease the impact of the impairment. • Substantial limitation must be determined without regard to the ameliorative effects of mitigating measures • Must screen out the positive impact of mitigating measures
Mitigating Measures - Examples • Decisions shall be made without regard to the ameliorative effects of mitigating measures : • Medication Hearing Aids • Cochlear Implants Mobility Devices • Prosthetics Assistive Technology • Oxygen Equipment • Assistive Technology • Low Vision Devices (except eyeglasses/contact lenses) • Reasonable Accommodations
Prong 2 – Record of Impairment • Individuals with a history or record of a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more the individuals major life activities are also protected from discrimination under Section 504 • May create eligibility for students who have no need for accommodation plans • Students staffed out of special education should be reviewed for 504 on a case-by-case basis
Prong 3 – Regarded As Impaired • Regarded as having a physical or mental impairment when in fact such impairment may or may not actually exist are protected from discrimination under Section 504. • Misclassification HIV LEP • Participation in extracurricular, sporting events • Prongs 2 and 3 are protected under 504 even though they are not individuals with a current substantial disability for which accommodations may be necessary and therefore would not require a 504 Accommodation Plan.
Section 504 – Eligibility Versus Need • Student does not have to demonstrate need for services to be Section 504 eligible. • If the student developed a need at a later time, the 504 team would create an appropriate plan. • Includes students whose current use of mitigating measures meets his/her needs as adequately as a nondisabled student. • Section 504 eligible students without a 504 Plan still receive procedural safeguards, manifestation determination, periodic re-evaluation (as needed), and non-discriminatory practices.
504 Procedural Safeguard • Parental Procedural Safeguards • Right to receive notice of identification, evaluation, refusal, placement, denial, or significant changes • Right to an evaluation if the district has reason to believe that the child may have a mental or physical impairment that substantially limits learning or other major life activity • Right to examine all relevant records • Right to an impartial hearing • Right to appeal the final decision of the hearing officer • Provided to parents of 504 eligible students with or without an Accommodation Plan
SPED – EMS and Eligibility • Review Eligibility Document
504 Plan Accommodation Plans • Address the educational impact of the identified disability(ies) and major life activity(ies) • Physical Environment • Instructional Materials • Instructional Methods • Assignments / Home Learning • Testing (may not be written for the sole purpose of accommodations on standardized tests) • Behavior
504 Plan Accommodation Plans • District Procedure - Complete 504 Accommodation Plans Annually • Major Life Activity • Review student progress • Review delivery of services • Frequency • Outcome • Accommodations – Additions, deletions, revisions • Need for continuation must be based on documentation
504 Plan Aids and Services • Related Services May Include • Occupational Therapy • Physical Therapy • Nursing Services • Classroom Assistance • Transportation • Medication Administration • Counseling
Section 504 & OT / PT Referral • A referral for an OT or PT evaluation must not always occur simultaneously with the development of an initial 504 Plan. • Accommodations and strategies should be implemented and monitored prior to a referral. • Therapists require feedback and discussion regarding a student’s response to his/her accommodations to determine the need for their services. • OT and PT are not mitigating measures.
Section 504 & OT / PT Evaluation • Evaluations may take place over several days, through observations of the student in his/her natural environment, interviews with school staff, parents and other professionals, as well as specific assessments. • The focus of the OT or PT evaluation is on the issue or concern stated in Section 1 of the Request and Consent for PT/OT Evaluation (FM-6552). • The accommodations and strategies which are currently addressing these concerns, but may require OT or PT support, must be stated on FM - 6552 Section 2.
Section 504 & OT / PT Recommendations • A completed evaluation is then forwarded to the Staffing Specialist who schedules a meeting with the parents and therapist(s). • If the therapist has determined that OT or PT support is needed, a recommended frequency of services is added to the 504 Plan • Therapists may provide suggestions and strategies to enhance the 504 • A private OT or PT Evaluation, while providing valuable information, does not establish “eligibility” or a need for school-based services
SPED EMS – Section 504 Plan • Review 504 Accommodation Plan
Section 504 - Procedures • Periodic Reevaluation – Does not require a comprehensive evaluation • Before any significant change in placement • Expulsion or repeated suspensions which exceed 10 days in school year • Manifestation Determination – FM 3918 • May consider other strategies, interventions or assessments • Change in delivery of education • At the request of the parent or school
Section 504 Grievance Procedures • Parents who have a disagreement involving Section 504 are entitled to the following grievance procedures • Appeal District Section 504 Compliance Officer 1500 Biscayne Blvd., Suite 409 Miami, FL 33132 • Request Mediation or a Hearing Clerk of the Board 1450 NE Second Avenue, Suite 268B Miami, FL 33132
HB 1329 - McKay Scholarship • Approved by Governor Scott • Took effect on July 1, 2011 • Adds eligibility provisions for students with 504 Accommodation Plans • Students with 504 Plan written by the school district may be eligible for a McKay Scholarship • Students with temporary (6 months or less duration) 504 Plans are ineligible • Students will receive basic funding • There is no Matrix of Services filed for 504 Plans • Website www.floridaschoolchoice.org .
SPED –EMS and Section 504 • SPED –EMS Updates • Temporary Plans • Error Check • Section 504 McKay Fact Sheet • SPED – EMS Coming Soon • Eligible with no Accommodation Plan
Follow – Up Activity • Follow up Activity will be emailed to all attendees • Due date will be included • Timely completion is required to receive Master Plan Points
Section 504 Contact Information • Section 504 Coordinator Mary A. Paz Instructional Supervisor SBAB Annex – 409 email@example.com Office (305) 995-1816 504 Hotline (305) 995-2799