The Law

IEP

IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) is a federal special education law for children with disabilities.

 

In Massachusetts, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), Bureau of Special Education Appeals (BSEA), and Office of Civil Rights - Department of Education are the governing bodies 

In Massachusetts, special education regulations are 603 CMR 28.00 and often bring the federal law further toward protecting individuals with disabilities.

Problem Resolution System (PRS), DESE handles complaints, as with 504 plans.

504

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act Prohibits Discrimination on the Basis of Disability in Programs or Activities That Receive Federal Financial Assistance


Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act Prohibits Discrimination on the Basis of Disability by State and Local Governments

The governing bodies are the Office of Civil Rights, Department of Education, Boston, and Bureau of Special Education Appeals BSEA, Malden.

Problem Resolution System (PRS), DESE handles complaints that allege a school or a district is not meeting legal requirements for education (within one year of violating act).

Eligibility 

The student qualifies in one of the thirteen disabilities areas AND the disability is adversely affecting the student's ability to access the curriculum requiring specialized instruction and/or related services. (See "what is special education" page). Section 504 protections also cover all students eligible for an IEP but, not necessarily, vice versa.

Have a recorded (permanent or temporary) physical or psychological disability that substantially impacts one or more life activities (e.g., learning, thinking, communicating, concentrating, speaking, walking, etc.) and require accommodations so that the impairments do not prevent them from accessing their education or participating in other school activities.

DocumentationContents

An IEP is a written and legal plan that specifies the specialized instruction and services, goal areas, related services (frequency and duration), provider information, placement, school year/day length, etc. that are unique to that student.  The services in the document are to be provided by the school district for that student to receive FAPE (a Free and Appropriate Education).

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act Prohibits Discrimination on the Basis of Disability in Programs or Activities That Receive Federal Financial Assistance


Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act Prohibits Discrimination on the Basis of Disability by State and Local Governments