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(16.12) If I request an assessment for Section 504 eligibility, does the school district have to assess my child to determine her eligibility for accommodations and/or services? Can I appeal if my child is denied eligibility?

(16.12) If I request an assessment for Section 504 eligibility, does the school district have to assess my child to determine her eligibility for accommodations and/or services? Can I appeal if my child is denied eligibility?

No.  If the school district believes that your child does not have a “physical or mental impairment which substantially limits a major life activity”, the district may refuse to evaluate her.  You would have to file for and prevail in  a Section 504 hearing to require the district to evaluate your child for eligibility.  [OCR Memorandum April 29, 1993; 19 IDELR 876.]

If your child is not found to have a disability for purposes of Section 504 accommodations and/or services, you can appeal that determination. The local education agency is responsible for arranging the Section 504 hearing process. The hearing officer selected by the local education agency must be independent of the local agency. The hearing officer could be, for example, a special education administrator from another school district, from the County Office of Education or from a special education local plan area (as long as there is no conflict of interest).  See Q & A #16.