Chapter 15 of Title 22 of the regulations of the State Board of Education addresses the responsibility of school districts to comply with the requirements of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and its implementing regulations relating to nondiscrimination on the basis of handicap in activities receiving federal financial assistance. The purpose of the federal law and the state regulations is to require that public educational agencies ensure that protected handicapped students have equal opportunity to participate in school programs and extracurricular activities to the maximum extent appropriate to the ability of the protected handicapped student in question.
DUTY OF THE LOCAL EDUCATION AGENCY (LEA)
LEAs shall provide each protected handicapped student enrolled in the district, without cost to the student or family, those related aids, services, or accommodations which are needed to afford the student equal opportunity to participate in and obtain the benefits from the school programs and extracurricular activities without discrimination, and to the maximum extent appropriate to the student's abilities. To meet the criteria for services under Chapter 15, a student needs to be identified as a protected handicapped student.
PROTECTED HANDICAPPED STUDENT DEFINITION
To meet the criteria of a protected handicapped student a child must be of school age and have a physical or mental disability that substantially limits or prohibits participation in or access to an aspect of the student's school program.
CRITERIA AND PROCESS FOR PROTECTED HANDICAPPED STUDENT STATUS
A child can be referred for evaluation of protected handicapped status either by the school district or the parents of the child. If the parents are requesting an evaluation, their request needs to be presented to the school district in writing. If the school district is requesting an evaluation, then a written notice must be sent to the parents. Any pertinent information needed to make the decision, including medical records, needs to be presented to the school district.
If the parents and the LEA agree that the student needs to have a service agreement, then the service agreement is written and executed by a representative of the LEA and one or both parents. The service agreement must specify the related aids, services, and accommodations that the student will receive, and the date the services will begin and end. If appropriate, a service agreement should also identify procedures to occur in the event the student has a medical emergency.