Section 504 / ADA Information

Student Services / 504 Plan Information

The Ramapo Indian Hills Regional High School District does not discriminate on the basis of disability with regard to admission, access to services, treatment, or employment in its programs or activities.

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, otherwise known as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008 prohibit discrimination against individuals with disabilities, including both students and staff members in any program receiving federal assistance.  Section 504 of the ADA defines an “individual with a disability” as a person who:

1. has a mental or physical impairment (as recognized in DSM-V or other respected source) which substantially limits one or more major life activities.

2.  has a record of such impairment; or

3.  is regarded as having such an impairment.

All individuals who are disabled under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) are also considered to be handicapped and, therefore, protected under Section 504.  However, all individuals who have been determined to be handicapped under Section 504 may not be disabled under IDEA.  The IDEA defines as eligible only students who have certain specified types of disabilities and who, because of one of those conditions, need special education (specifically designed instruction).  Section 504, on the other hand, protects all handicapped students, defined as those having any physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities. Section 504 covers all students who meet this definition, even if they do not fall within the IDEA enumerated categories and even if they do not need to be in a special education program.

The District has a grievance procedure for disability discrimination complaints.  For a description of this procedure, or any further relevant information, contact the 504/ADA Compliance Officer.

   District Procedures

Each school shall designate a 504 Committee. This committee is composed of members from a variety of disciplines and usually includes at least a teacher, supervisor, guidance counselor or Child Study Team member.  The purpose of this committee is to determine if a student is eligible for 504 accommodations and/or modifications. The following steps shall be followed in order to determine a student’s eligibility and to determine an accommodation plan under the provisions of the Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973:

1. Upon receipt of a referral request, the request will be forwarded immediately to the 504 Committee. (A student is usually referred to by his/her parent(s), but may be referred to by himself/herself or any member of the school staff.)

2. A 504 contact person shall be designated for this referral.

3. The 504 contact person will respond to the referral in writing, providing the parent with the Section 504 Identification Request Form and a copy of the Parent and Student Rights under Section 504.

4. When the Section 504 Identification Request Form is returned by the parent, the 504 Contact Person will initiate the process to evaluate the merits of the request. The 504 Contact Person is responsible for gathering all information and data. At a minimum, sources of information and data must include the information from the Section 504 Identification Request Form and information from the Teacher Input Form. School based data gathering methods can be established for Teacher Input form. Additional information may include:  documentation from a qualified professional, school counselor input, classroom observations, school nurse input, and other school staff input.  The Reasonable Accommodation Request Form For Student’s Physician form (part of the Section 504 Identification Request Form) and doctor’s note should be sent to [email protected] for recommendations. Please note the District’s physician recommendations are to be taken into consideration by the 504 Committee as the educational specialist will determine accommodations.  

5. Upon collection of the data, the 504 Contact Person should bring the data before the 504 Committee for review.  All information must be documented on the student’s 504 Eligibility Determination and Accommodation Plan Form. This form will provide the steps the committee must go through in determining a student’s eligibility for 504 accommodations.  All documentation should be uploaded in Frontline 504 in the “Document Repository.”

6. After reviewing all data, the committee must choose one of the following options:
a. The student is eligible for Section 504 based on the data
i.  Eligible students and IAP will be established in Frontline
b. Additional data are required before eligibility can be determined
c.  The student is not eligible. 
i. 504 Plan Ineligibility should be documented in a letter with rationale.  

7.  Once determination of eligibility is made, the committee will develop a list of recommended accommodations that will be part of the student’s Individualized Accommodation Plan (IAP) which will be inputted through Frontline 504.

8.   Upon completion of the accommodation plan in Frontline, the parent (and student, if appropriate) is invited to meet with the 504 Contact Person to review the determination of eligibility and the accommodation plan.  If the parent/student agrees, all participants should sign  A date for the review of the plan should be noted on the form.  

9.  After all parties agree, the 504 Contact Person must notify the classroom teachers of the student’s disability and resulting accommodations. The accommodation plan is a legal document that specifies the accommodations essential in providing the student with equal access to education opportunities.  It is important that the 504 Contact Person advises and informs the classroom teacher that he/she is legally responsible for the implementation of the Individualized Accommodation plan.

10.  The individual accommodation plan should be formally reviewed on at least an annual basis.  The 504 Contact Person is responsible for initiating the review.  The review must include any new information/data regarding the student’s disability and his/her progress in school.  If the accommodations need to be modified or redesigned, the 504 Contact Person should resubmit the case to the 504 Committee for review (504 and Action Plan Review Form).  If no changes are necessary, the accommodation plan will remain in effect during the school year.  The parents/students must give approval by again signing the accommodation individual plan.  Diagnosis should be documented every three years by the parents' provider.

11.  The 504 Committee should strive to complete each referred case within 45 days of the receipt of the original referral.  While there is no legal timeline that must be followed, the Committee should handle each case in an expeditious and thorough manner.