ASK - Advocates for Special Kids
"Parents helping parents to understand special education"

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Comparison of IDEA and Section 504



Section 504

Eligibility Other health impairment, serious emotional disturbance, specific learning disability. Physical or mental impairment which substantially limits a major life activity.
Identification and assessment
Assessment in all areas of suspected disability by knowledgeable multidisciplinary team using valid, individually appropriate tests with 60 days after assessment plan signed. Right to independent assessment at  public expense if school assessment is inappropriate. Evaluation for Section 504 eligibility within reasonable time upon request; individualized determination of educational needs using valid, individually appropriate tests. No right to independent assessment at public expense.
Planning Process  Individual education  program with goals and objectives identified by IEP team, including parent participation. Individualized determination of educational needs by IEP team or other process. Participation by 504 coordinator.
 Services Free appropriate public education; continuum of educational programs and placements, related services. Free appropriate public education; regular or special education, supplemental aids and services.
Setting Least restrictive environment. Least restrictive environment.
Resolving Disputes Due process hearing and mediation conference with rights under state law; compliance complaint to state Department of Education. Appeal process through due process hearing or other means;  right to notice, access to records, impartial hearing, counsel; complaint to Office for Civil Rights.


Copyright 2001  ASK 
All rights reserved.
Revised: January 25, 2002

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