Resolving a 504 Plan Dispute: Everything You Need to Know
When your child’s school develops its 504 plan, you may disagree with certain components of the plan, or you may agree with the plan but disagree with how it is implemented. When one of these two things happens, the best thing to do is talk about it. If things do not go as planned, the problem may need to be escalated.
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act provides you with numerous options for settling a 504 plan disagreement. Here are some of the possibilities open to you.
- Hearing Without Prejudice
If you haven’t gotten the communication or adjustments to the plan that you believe are required, you can escalate the problem. This generally results in an impartial hearing, which is similar to a brief trial.
You will submit your case before a hearing officer, who is a neutral third-party authority. If you don’t agree with the decision of the hearing officer, you can appeal again.
The first step in pursuing this option is to write to your child’s school and seek a hearing. Because the regulations governing this sort of hearing vary from state to state, it may be a good idea to employ an expert for the hearing.
As a parent, you are unable to assist in the creation of your child’s 504 plan. Despite the fact that this is legal, most educational institutions choose to involve parents in discussions. You may be able to bargain on behalf of your child’s needs at these encounters.
Following that, if you believe your child’s 504 plan is ineffective, you can seek another meeting on the matter. Typically, your child’s school and educators will agree and attempt to modify the plan to suit your concerns.
- Complaint about Civil Rights
Another alternative for resolving the conflict is to submit a complaint with the Office for Civil Rights of the US Department of Education. You will be taking the initial step by filing a letter describing the school’s violations of Section 504. This must be completed within 180 days of the plan’s activation.
This is a restricted possibility, though, because they are just looking to see if the institution violated Section 504. The OCR may launch an inquiry to find out. This option is not intended to be used to make instructional content selections for the plan.
- Bringing It to Court
The final option for resolving a 504 plan problem is to file a lawsuit. If you, as the patentee, think that your kid is being subjected to discrimination, this may be the only way to resolve the disagreement. This might be an expensive choice, so make certain that your child is being discriminated against.
Finally, consider the following:
There are numerous methods available to parents for resolving disagreements over their child’s 504 plan arrangements. When enrolling your student at a new school, keep in mind that 504 plan criteria differ from school to school. This implies that if you disagree with the idea, you should find out what the regulations are at that particular institution.