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(16.24) What rights do I have under Section 504 if I disagree with the District?

(16.24) What rights do I have under Section 504 if I disagree with the District?

If you disagree with the district on any matter relating to identification, evaluation, provision of FAPE, or placement, you may request a Section 504 hearing. The regulations require that the hearing be impartial, and that parents have the opportunity to participate and be represented by counsel. [34 C.F.R. 104.36.] Each school district establishes its own Section 504 hearing procedures. The school district chooses a hearing officer to make a decision on the disagreement. OCR has stated that employees and board members of your district may not serve as hearing officers. If another district shares a contract with your district to provide services to students with disabilities, its employees are also prohibited from serving as hearing officers. [Letter to Anonymous,18 IDELR 230 (OCR 1991).]

However, if you believe your child has not been afforded her rights under Section 504 (i.e. the district has not followed Section 504 requirements and procedures), you may file a complaint with OCR.  OCR administers and enforces Section 504 protections in education.  You have 180 days from the date of alleged violation to file your complaint with OCR. Your complaint should be filed with OCR at:

U.S. Department of Education
Office for Civil Rights, Region IX Office

50 Beale Street, Suite 7200
San Francisco, CA 94105
Telephone: 415-486-5555
TDY: 877-521-2172
FAX: 415-486-5570

See Chapter 6, Information on Due Process Hearings/Compliance Procedures.