Section 504 is an Act which prohibits discrimination against persons with a disability in any program receiving Federal financial assistance. The Act defines a person with a handicap as anyone who:
In order to fulfill it obligation under Section 504, the King George County School recognizes a responsibility to avoid discrimination in policies and practices regarding its personnel and students. No discrimination against any person with a disability will knowingly be permitted in any of the programs and practices in the school system.
The school district has specific responsibilities under the Act, which include the responsibility to identify, evaluate, and if the child is determined to be eligible under Section 504, to afford access to appropriate educational services.
If the parent or guardian disagrees with the determination made by the professional staff of the school district, he/she has a right to a hearing with an impartial hearing officer. A request for such a hearing may be made in writing and directed to the 504 Coordinator.
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) also specifies rights related to educational records. This Act gives the parent or guardian the right to: 1) Inspect and review his/her child’s educational records; 2) have copies of these records (a reasonable copying charge may apply); 3) receive a list of all individuals having access to those records; 4) ask for an explanation of any item in the records; 5) ask for an amendment to any report on the grounds that it is inaccurate, misleading, or violates the child’s rights; and 6) a hearing on the issue if the school refuses to make the amendment.
Under Section 504 there are several times during the planning process when parents/guardians should be provided their rights under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
· Prior to an evaluation · When eligibility is determined
· When a plan is developed · Before there is a significant change in the plan for services
The following is a listing of the rights of parents/guardians and majority age students under Section 504:
· Right to file a grievance with the school district over an alleged violation of Section 504 regulations.
· Right to have an evaluation that draws on information from a variety of sources.
· Right to be informed of any proposed actions related to eligibility and plan for services.
· Right to examine all relevant records.
· Right to periodic reevaluations and an evaluation before any significant changes in program/service modifications.
· Right to an impartial hearing if there is disagreement with the school district’s proposed action.
· Right to be represented by counsel in the impartial hearing process.
· Right to appeal the impartial hearing officer’s decision.