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The GAP Attorneys Blog

Meeting the needs of people with disabilities, their families, educators & service providers

Posts Tagged ‘Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)’

Revocation of parental consent for IDEA services prevents student from receiving services under Section 504

Friday, July 13th, 2012

Lamkin v. Lone Jack C-6 School District, 58 IDELR 197 (W.D. Mo. 2012): The Court determined that when the parent of a student with cerebral palsy, seizure disorder, visual impairment, scoliosis, and osteoporosis revoked consent for the provision of services under the IDEA, the parent also in effect revoked consent for services under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  After having disagreed with the IEP team’s decision to place the student at a school for the severely disabled, the parent revoked consent for the provision of IDEA services, but requested accommodations under Section 504.  The school district did not violate Section 504 or the ADA when it rejected this request.

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School district’s efforts to prevent disability-based harassment/bullying proved ineffective

Monday, May 7th, 2012

East Rutherford (NJ) School District, 58 IDELR 54 (OCR 2011): The Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights (OCR) investigated eleven alleged bullying incidents of a student with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and determined four of them to be disability-based harassment.   OCR stated that when a school district discovers the occurrence of disability-based harassment, which is a form of discrimination under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the school district must take prompt and effective action reasonably calculated to stop the harassment, prevent its recurrence and, as appropriate, remedy its effects.  OCR determined that although the school district’s actions to promptly investigate and attempt to stop the harassment were effective with many of the bullies involved, one of the bullies continued to harass the student despite the school district’s efforts.  As a result, OCR determined that it would monitor the school district’s implementation of a resolution agreement designed to prevent disability-based harassment against the student in the future.

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Court refused to dismiss denial of 504 FAPE claim against private school

Monday, April 2nd, 2012

Bishop v. Children’s Center for Developmental Enrichment, 57 IDELR 156 (S.D. Ohio 2011): The court refused to dismiss a claim brought by the parents of a student with autism that a private school denied the student a free appropriate public education (FAPE) under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.  As a recipient of federal financial assistance, the private school may be subject to a denial of FAPE claim under Section 504.  Although the private school claimed that the parents withdrew the student from the school, the parents had evidence that the school expelled the student from school by reason of the student’s autism.  Therefore, there was a genuine issue of material fact as to whether the private school acted with bad faith or gross misjudgment (or at the very least with deliberate indifference) and that it discriminated against the student “solely by reason of his disability.”

However, the court dismissed the parents’ claim under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), since the parents did not present any admissible evidence that the private school is a place of public accommodation (as is required by Title III of the ADA).  The court also dismissed the parents claim under Section 1983 since the parents could not show that the private school was acting under the color of state law.

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School district ran afoul with its obligation under Section 504 and the ADA when it failed to evaluate student diagnosed with diabetes

Monday, May 16th, 2011

Isle of Wight County (VA) Public Schools, 56 IDELR 111 (OCR. 2010): The Office of Civil Rights (OCR) determined that the school district violated Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) when it failed to evaluate a student with Type 1 diabetes for potential eligibility.  The school district had erroneously claimed it had no obligation to evaluate student due to the fact that the student’s family and/or medical caregivers never requested an evaluation.  As OCR pointed out, it is the responsibility of a school district (not a parent) to identify and evaluate any student who is believed to be a student with a disability.  Moreover, OCR stated that the school district should have conducted a manifestation meeting in order to determine whether or not a behavior resulting in a suspension and recommendation for expulsion (a threat of violence upon a teacher) was a manifestation of the student’s disability.  Although the student did not have a 504 Plan at the time of the behavior, the school district had reason to believe that he was disabled.  There was evidence that the student’s blood sugar was high at the time of the incident, and the school district never considered whether this contributed to the student’s behavior.

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