Thursday, July 22, 2010

Section 504 and ADA - the Redheaded Stepchildren of Special Education Law

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Almost all discussion of special education law concerns IDEA, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. This is the key statute and the basis for at least 95 % of all special education cases. there are other sources of special education law but we rarely talk about them.

In particular, section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act are other candidates. These other statutes really live in the shadows of special education law. I must confess that I tend to not give these laws as much thought as I probably should, yet they are important laws that could affect special education.

My friend and regular reader of this blog, Professor Mark Weber has written a new article on this topic. You can read the article here. In this article, Professor Weber addresses whether 504 and ADA could provide alternatives to IDEA given the recent expansion of theses two laws by Congress. The article also discusses the obligations to students under these laws; the exhaustion doctrine; and remedies available under 504 and ADA. I recommend that you take a look at this important review of these alternative sources of special education law.


  1. my child's 504 plan was non compliant, they had two meetings, though the decision against me was made at both, but the district wouldn't go forward until I went tosecond meeting
    theyfound at BOTH meetings that my child had an impairment that "substantially limits walking and breathing" and has the "conditon for life threatening effects"
    I later filed a grievance and the grivance panel found "probable cause of atty. misconduct" due to lack of candor with tribunal and non disclosure to me re: Hearing Officer and atty being from same firm and though now retired, hearing officer still works on cases in districts represented by the same firm. What's my next move???

  2. Anon,

    Thanks for the comment.