What are your rights?
Being a parent or caregiver of a child with hemophilia is a huge responsibility. Besides the medical care, insurance concerns, doctor’s appointments and an array of other factors, we often neglect to think of our rights as parents with regards to the education of our children. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 ensures that students with a disability will participate in all aspects of the school on an equal basis with students without disabilities.
What is Section 504?
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 prohibits discrimination of individuals with mental or physical impairments of institutions receiving Federal Funds.
Since all public schools in Connecticut receive Federal Funding, individuals with physical and mental impairments in Connecticut are protected by Section 504.
- The law states that any individual whose physical or mental disability substantially limits one or more “major life activities” such as caring for themselves, seeing, breathing, walking or learning. This includes but is not limited to individuals with diabetes, epilepsy, allergies, chronic conditions, HIV/AIDS, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), blood disorders, arthritis and asthma.
What type of services can the school provide?
Section 504 plans are developed to meet the individual needs of your child. Some accommodations that the school may provide are:
- Administration of Medication
- Monitoring of students’ well being
- Counseling services
- Making areas of the facility physically accessible
- Providing equipment such as calculators and tape recorders
- Test modifications and accommodations
- Accommodations in non-academic and/or extracurricular activities
- Assistance with health related needs
- Training of school personnel to understand the needs of your child better
Now I know, what’s the next step?
Now you know the information, you are your child’s number one advocate! The first step is to contact your school or districts 504 Coordinator to set up a meeting to request your child be considered for 504 services.
I am scheduled for a 504 meeting. What do I need to bring?
Now that you have requested a meeting to determine whether your child is eligible for accommodations under Section 504, you need to be prepared. It is recommended that you bring documentation from a physician stating your child’s condition (ex: severe Hemophilia A, VonWillebrand’s, etc.) and the implications it has for your child. If possible, having your Hematologist or Nurse Coordinator attend the meeting is also helpful and can help guide you through the meeting and provide answers to questions your school may have. After you provide all necessary documentation, your school will work with you to develop a 504 plan accommodations pertaining to your child and his/her needs.
To find out more about Section 504, a great resource is the Connecticut State Department of Education Office of Civil Rights at the following link: http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/index.html
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