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by Steve Glink
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What do you do when your child is denied a Section 504 year after year?
Hello, I have a son that has ADHD since he was in kindergarten. He is now in 11th grade and he has been denied the right to be put on a 504 plan. the school tested him and said that the DR's reports state he is ADHD and the school says he is ADHD but not disabled. How can I make the school and the school board realize that a medical DR's report stating he is ADHD is enough. I forgot to advise that this take's place in Sumter County, Florida. please help, I'm a frustrated dad.
Dear Dad: Thanks for your e-mail. Under revisions to federal law (in 1997), ADD and/or ADHD are disabilities under the "Other Health Impairment" (OHI) classification. They law is the source of determining what a disability is, not the school! What they might mean is that his disability does not have a negative impact on his educational performance, which only means that he is not eligible for special education under the federal IDEA law.
If they refuse to provide your son with accommodations under a 504 plan, you must file a complaint with the U.S. Justice Department (the Office of Civil Rights and/or the Department of Education). You should also file a complaint with your State Board of Education. You could request a due process hearing (that is the dispute resolution process). To do that, send a letter certified mail, return receipt requested to the superintendent, who must forward the request to the State Board of Education. An impartial hearing officer will be appointed and hear the evidence. There are many legal procedures so be careful. If you request it, the school district must provide you with a list of places where you can obtain low cost legal assistance.
Please feel free to contact me by phone or e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) if I can be of further assistance.
Steven E. Glink
Attorney At Law
3338 Commercial Avenue
Northbrook, Illinois 60062