Date of Award

5-2014

Degree Type

Creative Project

Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)

Department

Special Education and Rehabilitation

First Advisor

Nancy Glomb

Second Advisor

Lillian Duran

Third Advisor

Susan Turner

Abstract

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 specifically prohibits the discrimination of individuals with disabilities who participate in federally funded programs, including public education. Public education is a major recipient of federal funds and has struggled to apply the law to their practice. As the Office of Civil Rights (the administrator of Section 504) became more rigorous in enforcing this legislation, schools became more frustrated with the vagueness of the requirements and the eligibility standards. To date, schools still lack explicit direction and instruction on how to help students that may qualify for added accommodations, but do not qualify for special education services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act. The purpose of this project was to (1) assess the knowledge and skills of personnel in a large urban junior high school regarding the identification of, and implementation of accommodations for, students with disabilities under Section 504, and (2) develop and evaluate a planning guide and inservice that will assist junior high school personnel in serving students with disabilities through 504 plans. The evaluation results suggest that the training was associated with improvements in teachers' knowledge of the 504 identification and service delivery process as well as improvements in teachers' ratings of their confidence in being able to identify and serve students with disabilities via a 504 plan.

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