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2260c AdmGuide_Major Differences Between IDEA_Section 504

                                            The IDEA                                             Section 504
Who is protected?                  Lists 13 categories of qualifying              Much broader. A student is eligible
                                            conditions.                                            so long as s/he meets the definition
                                                                                                        of qualified handicapped person; i.e.,
                                                                                                        has or has had a physical or mental
                                                                                                        impairment which substantially limits
                                                                                                        a major life activity, or is regarded as
                                                                                                        handicapped by others.
                                            Hearing Impairment
                                            Mental Retardation
                                            Multiple Disabilities
                                            Orthopedic Impairment
                                            Other Health Impairment
                                            Serious Emotional Disturbance
                                            Specific Learning Disability
                                            Speech/Language Impairment
                                            Traumatic Brain Injury
                                            Visual Impairment
Duty to provide a free              Both require the provision of a free appropriate education to students covered
appropriate education             under them including individually designed instruction.
                                            Requires the District to provide             "Appropriate" means an education
                                            IEPs. "Appropriate education"               comparable to the education
                                            means a program designed to               provided to nonhandicapped students.
                                            provide "educational benefit."
                                            The IDEA                                             Section 504
Special Education                  A student is only eligible to receive          A student is eligible so long as s/he
vs.                                        IDEA services if the multidisciplinary        meets the definition of qualified
Regular Education                  team determines that the student            handicapped person; i.e., has
                                            has one of the 13 handicapping               or has had a physical or mental
                                            conditions and needs special education.  impairment which substantially limits a
                                                                                                        major life activity, or is regarded as
                                                                                                        handicapped by others. The student
                                                                                                        is not required to need special
                                                                                                        education in order to be protected.
Funding                                 If a student is eligible under the IDEA,    Additional funds are not provided.
                                            the District receives additional funding.
Accessibility                         Not specifically mentioned although if     Detailed regulations regarding
                                           modifications must be made to provide   building and program accessibility.
                                           a free appropriate education to a stu-
                                           dent, the IDEA requires it.
                                            The IDEA                                             Section 504
Procedural                             Both require notice to the parent or guardian with respect to identification,
Safeguards                            evaluation, and placement.
                                             Requires written notice.                         Does not require written notice, but a
                                                                                                        District would be wise to do so.
                                            Notice provisions are much more
                                            comprehensive. What the notice at a
                                            minimum must provide, is specifically
                                            spelled out.
                                            Written notice is required prior to any      Notice is required only before
                                            change in placement.                             a "significant change in placement."
                                            Provisions for independent                      Not required.
Due Process                         Both require Districts to provide impartial hearings for parents or guardians
Hearings                               who disagree with the identification, evaluation, or placement of a student with
                                            disabilities. (See grievance procedure requirement.) The rules are virtually identical.
Exhaustion                           The parent or guardian must pursue       No exhaustion requirement.
                                            the administrative hearing before
                                            seeking redress in the courts.
Enforcement                         Not enforced by OCR.                          Enforced by the Federal
                                           Compliance is monitored by                  Office for Civil Rights.
                                           the Wisconsin Department of
                                           Public Instruction.
                                          Both statutes provide for due process hearings.
                                          The Department of Public Instruction will resolve complaints.
                                            The IDEA                                             Section 504
Employment                          No provision.                                         Employment of persons with
                                                                                                        disabilities is regulated.
Approved/Adopted:  July 13, 2009
Sharon Weinstock,
Jul 28, 2011, 1:22 PM