Fresh Federal Resources at Your Distinction to Assist Local Students

Fresh Federal Resources at Your Distinction to Assist Local Students

Four new tools have been made available by the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) of the U.S. Department of Education. These are intended to inform schools, families, and students with disabilities about their rights under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. In schools and postsecondary educational institutions that receive federal financing, this law forbids discrimination against students with disabilities. According to Catherine E. Lhamon, Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, these resources will aid in comprehending the safeguards provided by federal disability rights statutes.

The materials concentrate on illnesses that meet Section 504’s definition of a disability. Food allergies, diabetes, asthma, and acid reflux are a few of these. They provide advice on when certain circumstances fall under Section 504 protection, what adjustments a school might have to undertake to stop prejudice, and how to deal with discrimination from the past.

Data from the OCR’s 2020–2021 Civil Rights Data Collection were also made available. According to this data, 8.4 million pupils attended public schools in 2020–2021, accounting for 17% of all enrolled students. Out of them, only Section 504 provided educational aid and services to 1.6 million pupils.

The information also revealed differences between students with impairments and their peers without disabilities’ educational experiences. It was discovered that children with impairments were less likely to take part in gifted programs, dual enrollment or credit courses, and Advanced Placement courses, and were more likely to experience physical restriction or isolation as well as disciplinary proceedings.

The websites of CRDC and OCR include the updated information. Their goal is to promote equal access to education and protection against prejudice by offering helpful information to schools, families, and students with disabilities.

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