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The U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, recently sent Students with ADHD and Section 504: A Resource Guide with an accompanying letter to school districts that receive Federal financial assistance from the U.S. Department of Education. The guide, available on the Office of Civil Rights website here (PDF download), is in the public domain and can be reproduced in whole or in part.

Summaries of the three laws pertaining to the education of students with disabilities are provided: Section 504 of The Rehabilitation Act, The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Amendments Act and, Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

Some of the topics covered are:

  • When must a school district conduct an evaluation?
  • Intervention strategies must not deny or delay evaluation of students suspected of having a disability.
  • What are the steps in conducting an evaluation and determining placement under section 504?
  • Cautions for school districts in the Section 504 evaluation process.
  • School districts cannot consider the ameliorative effects of mitigating measures when determining substantial limitation.
  • Placement determination under Section 504: Does the student need regular or special education, related aids and services, or supplementary aids and services?
  • Section 504 Due Process (Procedural Safeguards) Protections for students with disabilities and their parents.

The concluding paragraph of the letter that accompanied the Resource Guide states:

Through this letter and the accompanying Resource Guide, OCR seeks to help educators, families, students, and other stakeholders better understand these laws as they pertain to students with ADHD in elementary and secondary schools in order to ensure that these students receive the regular or special education, related aids and services, or supplementary aids and services the student needs to be successful. I encourage you to use this information to ensure that your school district is properly evaluating and providing timely and appropriate services to students with ADHD.

U.S. Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights. Dear Colleague Letter (July 26, 2016)

U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, Students with ADHD and Section504: A Resource Guide (July 2016).

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