Wednesday, October 1, 2008

"A Parent's Guide to Section 504" Gives Answers

"What can you tell me about the evaluation process for students going on a 504 plan?" I asked a specialist while at a traumatic brain injury conference last week.
"I don't think there is one" she replied.
A special education teacher chimed in that no official testing is needed because this falls outside of IDEA and the IEP/Special education services.
Bingo! I found an online article tonight on "Great Schools" that stated:

"Under Section 504, no formalized testing is required. The 504 Committee should look at grades over the past several years, teacher's reports, information from parents or other agencies, state assessment scores or other school administered tests, observations, discipline reports, attendance records, health records, and adaptive behavior information. Schools must consider a variety of sources. A single source of information (such as a doctor's report) cannot be the only information considered. Schools must be able to assure that all information submitted is documented and considered."

I wrote a post last week that discussed the 504 Plan and whether or not it was under-used. I would like to share that the quote above came from a wonderful post, "A Parents Guide to Section 504" that goes through the 504 plan, what it is, how it is addressed in different schools, what rights parents have in section 504 plans, what kind of supports you might expect to see used, etc. This article was written by Mary Durheim and the Educational Rights Information & Consulting Center in 2003. I couldn't find the center when I searched online, but the article is excellent.
I am keeping this material close in case I have questions come up. This information is invaluable. The Great Schools site is also a terrific place to find information. The Learning Disabilities page is full of links and articles that parents will find especially helpful.

I hope this information helps and that my thoughts on it the other day didn't muddy the waters too much.

All the best to you!

Lon Thornburg is an assistive technology specialist and professional development trainer who lives in Oregon and serves 12 districts in 7 counties. He hosts the No Limits 2 Learning Blog and The No Limits 2 Learning Live Talk Show on Blog Talk Radio. He is sharing as a contributing writer on LD LIVE!

No comments: