Monday, October 25, 2010

Least Restrictive Environment=Placement

While a district can place a child in a particular classroom or school based on the availability of special education services, it cannot allow such concerns to dictate the child's placement on the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) continuum.---This is the case summary from the Letter to Trigg Office of Special Education Programs, 50 IDELR 48. (2007)
What this means for Parents: Part B of 34 CFR s 300.116 requires placement decisions be made in conformity with the least restrictive environment provisions. These requirements are consistent with section 612(a)(5) of IDEA which requires, to the maximum extent appropriate, children with disabilities, including children in public or private institutions or other care facilities, be educated with children who are not disabled. Special classes, separate schooling, or other removal of children with disabilities from the regular educational environment should occur only when the nature or severity of the disability of a child is such that education in regular classes with the use of supplementary aids and services cannot be achieved satisfactorily.
Bottom Line: Placement decisions must be determined on an individual, case-by-case basis, depending on each child's unique needs and circumstances and based on the child's IEP.
Placement decisions are not to be made on the availability of special education and related services, configuration of the service delivery system, or the category of disability.

Section 504 updated: Greater eligibility and accommodations for students with LD, AD/HD - Special education and IEPs | GreatSchools

Section 504 updated: Greater eligibility and accommodations for students with LD, AD/HD - Special education and IEPs | GreatSchools

Did you know that, effective January 2009, eligibility for protection under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act became broader? Some students who did not qualify for Section 504 in the past, or who were not eligible for services and supports under the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), may now qualify for Section 504 plans. Students with such plans may now qualify for additional supports, services, auxiliary aids and/or accommodations in public schools. For many students with learning disabilities (LD) and/or AD/HD (Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder), this is good news! These positive changes are the result of recent amendments to the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), a broad civil rights law that also impacts Section 504.

You’ll be especially interested in these developments if:

  • Your child was evaluated under IDEA but was found ineligible.
  • Your child was previously evaluated for Section 504 but was found ineligible.
  • Your child is currently receiving informal accommodations in school.
  • Your child has a Section 504 plan in place. (If your child has an IEP, he is automatically considered to have a 504 plan.)
  • Your child needs accommodations on the SAT or ACT.
  • Your teenager is getting ready to go college.

Why do you need to know about these changes?

While the ADAAA is already in effect, don’t assume your school district fully understands how it applies to Section 504. To advocate effectively for your child, you’ll want to understand:

  • How the law has changed
  • How the new law may apply to your child
  • What steps you can take to ensure your child is properly evaluated and/or accommodated under Section 504.