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Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act: Application to PT in Schools

presented by Amy Barr and Mary Jane Rapport

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Disclosure Statement:

Financial: Mary Jane Rapport receives compensation from MedBridge for this course. There is no financial interest beyond the production of this course.

Non-Financial: Mary Jane Rapport has no competing non-financial interests or relationships with regard to the content presented in this course.

Satisfactory completion requirements: All disciplines must complete learning assessments to be awarded credit, no minimum score required unless otherwise specified within the course.

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What is Section 504, and how does it apply to physical therapy in schools? Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act was passed in 1973, but only recently has this law been directly applied to children with disabilities in schools. Knowledge of this law, the application to schools, and how physical therapists can provide services under this law are not widely understood. This course will explain how Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act became an important law for children with disabilities in school, similarities and differences to the IDEA, and how to consider which children should receive reasonable accommodations. The session will also provide examples of reasonable accommodations and discuss the development and implementation of 504 plans. Upon completion of this course, physical therapists will understand the difference between eligibility and service delivery under IDEA and Section 504.

Meet Your Instructors

Amy Barr, PT, DPT

Amy Barr, PT, DPT is a practicing school-based therapist and the Physical Therapy Coordinator for a large school district located in the suburban Denver area. She has 20 years of experience working with adults and children and has spent the last 14 years serving preschool through transition age students in a school setting. Dr. Barr…

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Mary Jane Rapport, PT, DPT, PhD, FAPTA

Mary Jane Rapport, PT, DPT, PhD is a Catherine Worthingham Fellow of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA). Dr. Rapport is a professor in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and the Department of Pediatrics in the School of Medicine at the University of Colorado, where she is on the faculty of the Physical…

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

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1. What Is Section 504?

This chapter provides the basic information on Section 504, including what the law is, who it applies to, and how eligibility is determined. There is significant detail on the definition of disability under Section 504 and several of the changes made to broaden use of the definition (from the 2008 amendments to the ADA).

2. Providing Services Under Section 504

This chapter defines and describes types of reasonable accommodations, how service decisions are made under Section 504, and how plans for service delivery are developed. This chapter delves into greater detail on how Section 504 concepts are applied to children with disabilities in schools.

3. Application of Section 504

This chapter will further elaborate on the content from Chapter 2 and will focus on comparing decisions for eligibility under IDEA versus 504. The chapter uses questions, algorithm-type decision making, and examples to help participants further their understanding about how and when Section 504 is used to meet the needs of children in schools.

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