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Monday, January 2, 2017

Education Department Guidance for Schools

In The Politics of Autism, I discuss the educational and civil rights of people with autism and other disabilities. 

At Education Week, Christina Samuels reports on three recent US Education Department guidance documents for schools:
The first document is a parent and educator resource guide on Section 504. Section 504 refers to a portion of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which prohibits discrimination by recipients of federal money, which includings public schools as well as charter schools.
The second guidance package explains how the use of restraint and seclusion may be a violation of a student's rights under Section 504. 
 [See recent Michigan legislation.  -- JJP]

The third guidance package notes that charter school students are afforded the same protections under IDEA and Section 504 as their peers who are enrolled in traditional public schools. This guidance was released jointly with the office of special education and rehabilitative services. The guidance is broken into two parts: one document, authored by OCR, spells out the responsibility of charter schools under Section 504. The second document outlines charter schools' responsibility to follow the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. The two laws are different enough that two documents were needed, federal officials said.