presented by Mary Jane Rapport & Amy Barr
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.
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 Therapy Program. She is the Director of the University of Colorado Pediatric Physical Therapy Residency Program, the PT Program Student Services Coordinator, the PT Discipline Director for the Maternal Child Health LEND program through JFK Partners, and the Co-Director of the Teaching Scholars Program in the School of Medicine. Dr. Rapport has extensive experience as an educator and a pediatric physical therapist with a productive record of presentations and publications. Much of her career has been focused on legislative action, policy interpretation for the delivery of special education, related services, and early intervention services. Dr. Rapport has been a physical therapist for over 30 years and a physical therapist educator for over 10 years. While much of her career has been in academia and focused on higher education, she has maintained clinical practice in schools as a school-based physical therapist and as an early intervention service provider. Most recently, she has been working one day a week with students with disabilities at the preschool, elementary, and high schools levels in a local school district. She has taught courses and workshops and delivered conference sessions specifically on the implementation of services under IDEA and related federal laws to thousands of pediatric physical therapists over the years.
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 teaches nationally on topics important to school-based therapy, including team collaboration, IEP development, and physical therapist performance appraisal. She has a passion for providing quality continuing education for school-based physical therapists and cofounded an annual education day for therapists in Colorado. Dr. Barr chaired the Physical Therapist Performance Appraisal Task Force for the School-Based Special Interest Group of the Academy of Pediatric Physical Therapy. She participated in the PT Performance Appraisal work group for the Colorado Educator Effectiveness Project and is an active member of the Colorado Department of Education Physical Therapy Advisory Committee. Dr. Barr graduated from the University of Colorado with her Masters of Science in Physical Therapy in 1997 and her Doctor of Physical Therapy in 2010. She is a member of the American Physical Therapy Association and the Academy of Pediatric Physical Therapy.
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).
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.
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.