Tag Archives: inclusion

New Discipline Guidance Focuses on Discrimination Against Students With Disabilities

New U.S. Department of Education discipline guidance clarifies federal protections against discrimination toward students with disabilities.

According to the new U.S. Department of Education guidance, schools must determine if a student’s behavior is related to their disability before disciplining them. U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona stated that the new guidance is the “most comprehensive” the department has ever released on the topic.

Four New Resources

Key takeaways:

Schools are required to provide behavioral supports and services to students with disabilities and must determine if a student’s behavior is related to their disability before expelling or suspending them for that behavior.

Section 504 prohibits schools from not making reasonable modifications for students with disabilities such as adapting school policies to support student needs; unnecessarily treating a student differently because of their disability; or using policies that have an “unjustified discriminatory effect” on students with disabilities.

A student’s IEP, or individualized education program, must include the use of “positive behavioral interventions and supports” to address disruptive behavior.  Behavioral interventions can include “special education and related services, supplementary aids and services, and program modifications or supports for school personnel.”

Behavioral interventions can include “special education and related services, supplementary aids and services, and program modifications or supports for school personnel.”  Physical restraints—when adults use their own physical force to restrain a student—could constitute discrimination. However, the use of “physical escort,” in which an adult temporarily touches or holds a student’s hand, wrist, arm, shoulder, or back “for the purpose of inducing a student who is acting out to walk to a safe location,” is not considered a restraint.

Informal removal, although not defined in IDEA and its implementing regulations, means action taken by school personnel in response to a child’s behavior that excludes the child for part or all of the school day, or even an indefinite period of time. These exclusions are considered informal because the school removes the child with a disability from class or school without invoking IDEA’s disciplinary procedures. Informal removals are subject to IDEA’s requirements to the same extent as disciplinary removals by school personnel using the school’s disciplinary procedures. Informal removals include administratively shortened school days when a child’s school day is reduced by school personnel, outside of the IEP Team and placement process, in response to the child’s behavior.

“Actions that result in denials of access to, and significant changes in, a child’s educational program could all be considered as part of the 10 days of suspension and also could constitute an improper change in placement. These actions could include when a school administrator unilaterally informs a parent that their child with a disability may only remain in school for shortened school days because of behavioral issues or when a child with a disability is not allowed by the teacher to attend an elective course because of behavioral concerns.”

 

First-Ever Bill of Rights for Passengers with Disabilities

The Bill of Rights provides a convenient, easy-to-use summary of existing law governing the rights of air travelers with disabilities

The Airline Passengers with Disabilities Bill of Rights, an easy-to-use summary of the fundamental rights of air travelers with disabilities under the Air Carrier Access Act, will empower air travelers with disabilities to understand and assert their rights and help ensure that the U.S. and foreign air carriers and their contractors uphold those rights. It was developed using feedback from the Air Carrier Access Act Advisory Committee, which includes representatives of passengers with disabilities, national disability organizations, air carriers, airport operators, contractor service providers, aircraft manufacturers, wheelchair manufacturers, and a national veterans organization representing disabled veterans. The Bill of Rights provides a convenient, easy-to-use summary of existing laws governing the rights of air travelers with disabilities.

The Bill of Rights does not expand airlines’ legal obligation or establish new requirements under the law, it DOES empower and educate passengers with disabilities of their rights and holds airlines more accountable for their actions.

The Bill of Rights consists of:

      1. The Right to Be Treated with Dignity and Respect.
      2. The Right to Receive Information About Services and Aircraft Capabilities and Limitations.
      3.  The Right to Receive Information in an Accessible Format.
      4. The Right to Accessible Airport Facilities.
      5. The Right to Assistance at Airports.
      6. The Right to Assistance on the Aircraft.
      7. The Right to Travel with an Assistive Device or Service Animal.
      8. The Right to Receive Seating Accommodations.
      9. The Right to Accessible Aircraft Features.
      10. The Right to Resolution of a Disability-Related Issue.

See More:
DOT Announces First-Ever Bill of Rights for Passengers with
Disabilities, Calls on Airlines to Seat Families Together Free of Charge