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What the Law Says

Three federal laws protect students with disabilities:

Rehabilitation Act of 1973 - Section 504
Under this civil rights act, students with disabilities are protected from discrimination on the basis of their disability if they have a mental or physical impairment that substantially limits a basic life activity such as seeing, hearing, speaking, walking, learning, reading, concentrating,  and caring for oneself, among others. Section 504 states that students with a mental or physical impairment that substantially limits a basic life activity are entitled to a free appropriate public education

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990
The ADA requires that public facilities, including schools, are physically accessible to people with disabilities. It also states that auxiliary aids and services necessary for a disabled person to have an equal opportunity to participate in activities that take place in a public facility should be provided.which meets their individual educational needs as “adequately” as those of a nondisabled student.

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) of 2004 (Reauthorized)
This act outlines how states are to provide services to meet the unique educational needs of children with disabilities in 10 specific categories from the time they are born through age 21. IDEA guides how special education services are delivered to eligible children including guidelines for developing Individualized Education Plans (IEPs), ensuring that students are placed in the least restrictive environment appropriate and Early Intervention (EI) and Extended School Year (ESY) programs.

Section 504 and the ADA use a different definition of disability and a different approach to eligibility than IDEA.
Children who are not eligible under IDEA may be protected by Section 504 and ADA.



 DIFFERENCES BETWEEN SECTION 504 AND IDEA

 Section 504  IDEA
Intent  To prevent any form of discrimination against individuals with disabilities who are otherwise qualified Requires public schools to provide a free appropriate public education to eligible students with disabilities 
Services Schools are required to provide appropriate, reasonable adaptations and accommodations to eligible students with a disability. They are required to provide over and above what is provided for non-disabled students.  Schools are required to develop an individualized Education Plan (IEP) based on the disabled student's demonstrated need. These include specially designed instruction, therapies and services that are not provided to other students. 
Definition
of disability 
Disability is broadly defined to include a wide group of students with physical or mental disabilities that substantially limit a major life function  Disability is defined as one of 11 specific diagnoses including a range of physical, mental, emotional and social impairments. 
Eligibility  Based on the functional impact of a physical or mental impairment; covers individuals from birth to death  Based on specific categories of disabilities that result in a need for specially designed education; covers individuals ages 3 to 21
Procedural safeguards  Schools are required to provide notice to parents describing how they intend to accommodate students with disabilities, but does not require parental consent  Parents must be notified of and invited to any meetings concerning their child. They also have the right to consent or decline evaluation and services.
Evaluations Designed by the committee working with the child; limited to the specific questions that must be addressed in order to determine what accommodations may be needed.  Typically comprehensive in nature and may include both formal and informal evaluations in order to determine a child's learning disability and how best to address his or her needs. 

Contact Us

 Student Services Department
 Phone:  541-766-4857 
 Address:  1555 S.W. 35th St., Corvallis, OR 97333
 Fax:  541-757-5726
Staff:  Kevin Bogatin, Assistant Superintendent