A Federal law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with physical and mental impairments, and provides reasonable accommodation when an impairment impacts a major life activity.
Section 504 is a federal anti-discrimination law that protects the rights of individuals with disabilities in programs and activities that receive federal financial assistance from the U.S. Department of Education (29 USC §794,701 et seq.). Recipients of this federal financial assistance include public school districts, institutions of higher education, and other state and local education agencies. It requires a school district to provide a “free and appropriate education,” (FAPE) to each qualified student with a disability who is in the recipient’s jurisdiction, regardless of the nature or severity of the student’s disability (34 C.F.R. § 104.33(a). Under Section 504, FAPE provides regular or special education and related aids and services that are designed to meet the needs of individuals with disabilities as adequately as the needs of individuals without disabilities are met. 34 C.F.R. § 104.33(b)(1)(i).
Albert Lea Area Schools is committed to fulfilling the obligations of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. The district has systems in place to identify, evaluate and provide educational services to students with disabilities in a manner that is as similar to their non-disabled peers as deemed appropriate.
Parents and students have a right to request an evaluation if they suspect the student has a disability that affects their educational progress. Parents and students have a right to be part of the educational team that determines the methods of evaluation, the interpretation of the evaluation results and the development of the Individual Education Program (IEP) or 504 Plan should one be required. Parents and students who have questions regarding the process can contact the Special Services Department at 507-379-4822.