Providing Students with Disabilities Free Appropriate Public Education During the Pandemic and the Need for Compensatory Services
April 5, 2022
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is a Federal law that doesn't allow disability discrimination and guarantees that students with disabilities have equal access to educational opportunities, including a free appropriate public education (FAPE) in public elementary and secondary schools. FAPE under Section 504 involves providing regular or special education and related aids and services that meet the individual educational needs of students with disabilities as well as the needs of non-disabled students are met.
The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights released the fact sheet, "Providing Students with Disabilities Free Appropriate Public Education During the COVID-19 Pandemic and Addressing the Need for Compensatory Services Under Section 504" to remind elementary and secondary public schools of the requirements under Section 504 to provide appropriate evaluations and services to students with disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic, including schools’ responsibility to provide compensatory services. Regardless of the challenges schools face during the pandemic, students with disabilities keep their right to FAPE under Section 504.