Skip to main content

NaugatuckPublic Schools

Main Menu Toggle
Student & Family Handbook » Americans with Disabilities Act & Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973

Americans with Disabilities Act & Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973

Section 504

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (“Section 504”) is a non-discrimination statute enacted by the United States Congress. Section 504 prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability by recipients of federal funds. Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA” or “Title II”) also prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability by state and local governments. To be protected under Section 504 and the ADA (“collectively, “Section 504/ADA”) as an individual with a disability, an individual 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.

 

Under Section 504, the school district has specific responsibilities to identify, evaluate and provide an educational placement for students with a disability. The school district’s obligation includes providing such eligible students a free appropriate public education (“FAPE”). Section 504 defines FAPE as the provision of regular or special education and related services that are designed to meet the individual educational needs of a student with a disability as adequately as the needs of students without disabilities are met, and that are provided without cost (except for fees imposed on nondisabled students/parents).

 

A student is eligible for regular or special education and related services under Section 504 if it is determined that he/she has a mental or physical disability that substantially limits one or more major life activity such as (but not limited to): caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, seeing, hearing, eating, sleeping, walking, standing, lifting, bending, speaking, breathing, learning, reading, concentrating, thinking, communicating and working. A major life activity may also include the operation of a major bodily function, such as an individual’s immune, digestive, respiratory or circulatory systems.

 

A student can have a disability and be covered by Section 504/ADA even if he/she does not qualify for, or receive, special education services under the IDEA.

 

The purpose of this notice is to provide parents/guardians and students 18 years of age or older with information regarding their rights under Section 504.


Under Section 504, you have the right:

  1. To be informed of your rights under Section 504;
  2. To have your child take part in and receive benefits from the Naugatuck School District’s education programs without discrimination based on his/her disability.
  3. For your child to have equal opportunities to participate in academic, nonacademic and extracurricular activities in your school without discrimination based on his/her disability;
  4. To be notified of decisions and the basis for decisions regarding the identification, evaluation, and educational placement of your child under Section 504;
  5. If you suspect your child may have a disability, to request an evaluation, at no expense to you and to have an eligibility determination under Section 504 (and if eligible, placement decisions made) by a team of persons who are knowledgeable of your child, the assessment data, and any placement options;
  6. If your child is eligible for services under Section 504, for your child to receive a free appropriate public education (FAPE). This includes the right to receive regular or special education and related services that are designed to meet the individual needs of your child as adequately as the needs of students without disabilities are met;
  7. For your child to receive reasonable accommodations and services to allow your child an equal opportunity to participate in school, extra-curricular and school-related activities;
  8. For your child to be educated with peers who do not have disabilities to the maximum extent appropriate;
  9. To have your child educated in facilities and receive services comparable to those provided to non-disabled students;
  10. To review all relevant records relating to decisions regarding your child’s Section 504 identification, evaluation, and educational placement;
  11. To examine or obtain copies of your child’s educational records at a reasonable cost unless the fee would effectively deny you access to the records;
  12. To request changes in the educational program of your child, to have your request and related information considered by the team, a decision made by the team, and if denied, an explanation for the team’s decision/determination;
  13. To request an impartial due process hearing if you disagree with the school district’s decisions regarding your child’s Section 504 identification, evaluation or educational placement. The costs for this hearing are borne by the local school district. You and the student have the right to take part in the hearing and to have an attorney represent you at your expense;
  14. To file a local grievance/complaint with the district’s designated Section 504 Coordinator to resolve complaints of discrimination including, but not limited to, claims of discrimination directly related to the identification, evaluation or placement of your child; and
  15. To file a formal complaint with the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights.


    The Section 504/ADA Coordinator for this district is:

    Christopher Montini, Assistant Superintendent of Schools
    497 Rubber Avenue
    203-720-5265
    Montini@naugatuck.k12.ct.us

     

    For additional assistance regarding your rights under Section 504 and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, you may contact:

    Office for Civil Rights, Boston Office
    U.S. Department of Education
    8th Floor
    5 Post Office Square
    Boston, MA 02109-0111
    (617) 289-0111

    Connecticut State Department of Education
    Complaint Resolution Procedure
    Elementary and Secondary Education Act
    34 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 299(10)(a)
 

Filing of Complaint

Violation of Law

A written complaint may be filed by an organization or individual with the Connecticut Commissioner of Education alleging that the state educational agency (SEA) or an agency or consortium of agencies is violating a federal statute or regulation that applies to the following applicable programs:Part A of Title I (Improving Basic Programs Operated by Local Educational Agencies).

  1. Part B, Subpart 1 of Title I (Reading First).
  2. Part B, Subpart 3 of Title I (Even Start Family Literacy Programs).
  3. Part D of Title I (Children and Youth Who Are Neglected, Delinquent, or At Risk of Dropping Out).
  4. Part A of Title II (Teacher and Principal Training and Recruiting Fund).
  5. Part D of Title II (Enhancing Education through Technology).
  6. Part A of Title III (English Language Acquisition, Language Enhancement, and Academic Achievement Act).
  7. Part B, Subpart 4 of Title III (Emergency Immigrant Education Program).
  8. Part A of Title IV (Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities).
  9. Part A of Title V (Innovative Programs).

Review of an Appeal

A written complaint may be filed by an individual with the Connecticut Commissioner of Education appealing the decision of an agency or consortium of agencies based on prior written complaint presented by an individual to such agency or consortium of agencies.
 

Content of Complaint

The complaint shall be in writing, signed by the complainant and contain the following:

 

  1. A statement that the SEA or an agency or consortium of agencies has violated a requirement of federal statutes or regulation regarding the applicable program, or in the case of an appeal, a statement of aggrievement with the decision rendered by the agency or consortium of agencies based on a prior written complaint.
  2. A clear and concise description of the facts on which the statement is based and the specific alleged violation or aggrievement.
  3. A description of prior efforts to resolve the complaint, including information demonstrating that the SEA, agency or consortium of agencies has taken action adverse to the complaint or has refused or failed to take action within a reasonable period of time.
  4. Complainant's and respondent's name, address and telephone number.
  5. Other materials or documents containing information which support or clarify the statement.

Review of Complaint

Analysis

Within three business days of the receipt of the complaint, the Commissioner shall assign a review official. Within five business days of the assignment, the review official shall determine whether the complaint has been properly filed in accordance with Section I. If necessary, the review official shall interview the complainant.
 

Dismissal of Complaint

The review official may dismiss the complaint in writing stating an explanation for such action. The grounds for dismissal shall include, but are not limited to, the following:

 

  1. Failure to file a proper complaint pursuant to Section I.
  2. The allegations fail to state a bona fide violation of federal statute or regulations by the SEA or an agency or consortium of agencies.
  3. The allegations fail to state a bona fide aggrievement with the decision rendered by an agency or consortium of agencies based on prior written complaint.
  4. The allegations were not caused by the actions or failure to act by the SEA, agency or consortium of agencies.

Notification of Complaint and Investigation

If a complaint is not dismissed, the review official shall forward the complaint to the respondent immediately along with a copy of the Complaint Resolution Procedures.

Response to Complaint

Within 10 business days of the receipt of the complaint from the review official, the respondent shall file with the Commissioner a written response to the complaint.

Content of Response

The response shall address each and every allegation of the complaint and shall list the respondent's name, address and telephone number.
 

Interview

The review official or the respondent may request an interview to discuss the response and to resolve the dispute informally.
 

Complaint Investigation

Upon completion of Section IV or the failure of the respondent to file a response, the review official shall conduct an investigation. All parties may be duly notified that an investigation has begun. At any time during the investigation, the review official shall attempt to resolve the dispute informally.
 
Within 60 calendar days of the receipt of the complaint, an investigation of the complaint shall be completed and a written report shall be mailed to both parties. Information shall be gathered in a timely manner, while minimizing any inconvenience or disruption to the complainant or respondent.
 
Concerning a review of an appeal of the decision of an agency or consortium of agencies, the review official may elect to disregard the procedures contained in this section using in lieu thereof the following abbreviated procedure:
  1. Review all of the appropriate records and determine whether the decision of the agency or consortium of agencies shall be affirmed, reversed or modified.
  2. Draft a letter of review of an appeal addressing, but not limited to, the issue in dispute, the facts found, the affirmation, reversal or modification of the lower decision and recommendation for improved practices, policies or procedures.

Data Collection

The complainant and respondent shall provide the review official with copies of all relevant records requested in writing. Telephone interviews of the complainant, respondent and others with knowledge of the allegations may be conducted.

Pursuant to 34 CFR 99-35(a) the review official, acting on behalf of the SEA, is authorized to have access to education records in connection with an evaluation of federal or state-supported education programs or for the enforcement of or compliance with federal legal requirements which relate to those programs.
 

Independent On-Site Investigation

The review official may conduct an on-site visit to investigate the complaint if the official deems it necessary.

Any on-site visit shall be coordinated with the respondent.

Complaint Investigation Report

The Complaint Investigation Report shall be completed by the review official and mailed to the parties within 60 calendar days of the receipt of the complaint by the SEA. The Commissioner may grant an extension for the completion of the report on written request of the review official or respondent if exceptional circumstances exist with respect to the particular complaint. Such extension shall be in writing and shall be mailed to the parties.

The report shall contain the following contents: 

  1. Summary of all investigation activities including, but not limited to, date of receipt of complaint, allegations, parties interviewed, documents received and dates of on-site visits.
  2. Specific allegation of the complaint, the findings of fact, conclusions and final decisions rendered regarding each allegation, including citation to applicable federal statute or regulation.
  3. Specific corrective action plan that resolves the complaint or ensures future compliance of the respondent regarding the violation of federal statute or regulation.
  4. Recommendations for improved practices, policies or procedures shall be offered when no violation of federal statute or regulation is found.

Corrective Action Plan

If the Complaint Investigation Report finds that the respondent is violating federal statute or regulations, the respondent shall be requested to submit a corrective action plan within a specified period of time as determined by the review official.
 
Respondent may request technical assistance from the SEA in order to prepare a plan to achieve compliance.
 

Review of Final Decision

The complainant may file a written request with the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education to review the final decision of the SEA.
 
All local educational agencies shall disseminate information about the complaint procedures to teachers, staff, parents and appropriate private school officials or representatives.