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Dr. Marta Guevara
Some students with disabilities who do not qualify for special education services may be entitled to services and other accommodations under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act. To qualify as a disabled individual under Section 504, a student must: 1) have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities; 2) have a record of such an impairment, or 3) be regarded as having such an impairment. In the case of qualification under #1, the determination of such qualification shall be made by a team of persons knowledgeable about the disability and/or the student. A parent/guardian/teacher, as well as other individuals like the student’s physician, may refer the student for an evaluation under Section 504. A complete copy of the Parent’s/Guardian’s procedural rights under Section 504 may be obtained from the principal’s office or from the Student Services Office.
SECTION 504/ADA GRIEVANCE PROCEDURES
The Amherst-Pelham Regional School District does not discriminate on the basis of disability with regard to admission, access to services, treatment, or employment in its programs or activities. Any alleged discriminatory practices within the scope of Section 504 or the Americans with Disabilities Act should be addressed through the grievance procedure which follows:
The person who believes he/she has a valid basis for grievance under Section 504 or the Americans with Disabilities Act shall informally discuss the complaint with the building-based 504/ADA Coordinator.
The building-based 504/ADA Coordinator will investigate and document the complaint (including dates of meetings, disposition and dates of disposition), and give a written reply to the complainant within ten (10) school days of meeting with the complainant. In the event that the complaint addresses a district-wide issue, then the first step would be handled by the District 504/ADA Coordinator.
If the complaint is not satisfactorily resolved through Step 1, the alleged grievance may be filed in writing by the complainant (please see the attached form). To be considered, the written complaint must fully set out the circumstances giving rise to the alleged grievance and must be filed with the District 504/ADA Coordinator within ten (10) school days of disposition at Step 1.
The District 504/ADA Coordinator will conduct an informal hearing within ten (10) school days of receipt of the written complaint.
The parent, student, or employee will have the opportunity to present evidence relevant to the issues raised under the grievance. The parent, student, or employee may, at their own expense, be assisted or represented by individuals of their choice, including legal counsel. The District 504/ADA Coordinator will present his/her written decision to the Superintendent and complainant within ten (10) school days of the conclusion of the hearing.
If the complaint is not satisfactorily resolved through step 2, the complainant may file a written appeal to the Superintendent. To be considered, the written complaint must fully set out the circumstances giving rise to the alleged grievance and must be filed with the Superintendent's Office within ten (10) school days of disposition at Step 2. The Superintendent will schedule a meeting to hear the appeal within ten (10) school days after receipt of the grievance. Within ten (10) school days of that meeting, the Superintendent will issue a written disposition of the alleged grievance.
In the event that the complaint is not resolved through Step 3, the parent, student or employee may file a request for a due process hearing before an impartial hearing officer. Such a request must be filed no later than ten (10) school days after the date of the Superintendent's decision at Step 3. The impartial hearing officer shall not be an employee of the District and will be an attorney or educator knowledgeable about Section 504 and the ADA. The hearing officer will provide the complainant and the District with the opportunity to present oral and/or written information on the grievance. The complainant and the District may be represented by counsel of their choosing and at their own expense. The hearing officer will render a decision no later than thirty (30) days after the conclusion of the hearing. Rather than utilizing the foregoing procedure for an impartial hearing, parents/guardians have the option of filing a Request for Hearing with the Bureau of Special Education Appeals in which case the Bureau of Special Education Appeals shall conduct the impartial hearing consistent with its Hearing Rules.
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Last updated December 20, 2010