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Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)

Download a complete copy of the new IDEA in .txt format from the Committee on Education and the Workforce.


Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (section 504)

Find the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 on the National Federation of the Blind Web Site.


34 CFR 104-Appendix, Paragraph 24

34 C.F.R. Part 104

APPENDIX A TO PART 104---ANALYSIS OF FINAL REGULATION

Subpart A---General Provisions

Definitions:

1. "Recipient"

Sec. 104.23 contains definitions used throughout the regulation.

One comment requested that the regulation specify that nonpublic elementary and secondary schools that are not otherwise recipients do not become recipients by virtue of the fact their students participate in certain federally funded programs. The Secretary believes it unnecessary to amend the regulation in this regard, because almost identical language in the Department's regulations implementing title VI and title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 has consistently been interpreted so as not to render such schools recipients. These schools, however, are indirectly subject to the substantive requirements of this regulation through the application of 104.4(b)(iv), which prohibits recipients from assisting agencies that discriminate on the basis of handicap in providing services to beneficiaries of the recipients' programs.

2. "Federal financial assistance"

In 104.3(h), defining federal financial assistance, a clarifying change has been made: procurement contracts are specifically excluded. They are covered, however, by the Department of Labor's regulation under Sec. 503. The Department has never considered such contracts to be contracts of assistance; the explicit exemption has been added only to avoid possible confusion.

The proposed regulation's exemption of contracts of insurance or guaranty has been retained. A number of comments argued for its deletion on the ground that Sec. 504, unlike title VI and title IX, contains no statutory exemption for such contracts. There is no indication, however, in the legislative history of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 or of the amendments to that Act in 1974, that Congress intended Sec. 504 to have a broader application, in terms of federal financial assistance, than other civil rights statutes. Indeed, Congress directed that Sec. 504 be implemented in the same manner as titles VI and IX. In view of the long established exemption of contracts of insurance or guaranty under title VI, we think it unlikely that Congress intended Sec. 504 to apply to such contracts.

3. "Handicapped person"

Sec. 104.3(j), which defines the class of persons protected under the regulation, has not been substantially changed. The definition of handicapped person in paragraph (j)(1) conforms to the statutory definition of handicapped person that is applicable to Sec. 504, as set forth in Sec. 111(a) of the Rehabilitation Act Amendments of 1974, Pub. L. 93-516.

The first of the three parts of the statutory and regulatory definition includes any person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities. Paragraph (j)(2)(i) further defines physical or mental impairments. The definition does not set forth a list of specific diseases and conditions that constitute physical or mental impairments because of the difficulty of ensuring the comprehensiveness of any such list. The term includes, however, such diseases and conditions as orthopedic, visual, speech, and hearing impairments, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, cancer, heart disease, diabetes, mental retardation, emotional illness, and, as discussed below, drug addiction and alcoholism.

It should be emphasized that a physical or mental impairment does not constitute a handicap for purposes of Sec. 504 unless its severity is such that it results in a substantial limitation of one or more major life activities. Several comments observed the lack of any definition in the proposed regulation of the phrase "substantially limits." The Department does not believe that a definition of this term is possible at this time.

A related issue raised by several comments is whether the definition of handicapped person is unreasonably broad. Comments suggested narrowing the definition in various ways. The most common recommendation was that only "traditional" handicaps be covered. The Department continues to believe, however, that it has no flexibility within the statutory definition to limit the term to persons who have those severe, permanent, or progressive conditions that are most commonly regarded as handicaps. The Department intends, however, to give particular attention in its enforcement of Sec. 504 to eliminating discrimination against persons with the severe handicaps that were the focus of concern in the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

The definition of handicapped person also includes specific limitations on what persons are classified as handicapped under the regulation. The first of the three parts of the definition specifies that only physical and mental handicaps are included. Thus, environmental, cultural, and economic disadvantage are not in themselves covered; nor are prison records, age, or homosexuality. Of course, if a person who has any of these characteristics also has a physical or mental handicap, the person is included within the definition of handicapped person.

In paragraph (j)(2)(i), physical or mental impairment is defined to include, among other impairments, specific learning disabilities. The Department will interpret the term as it is used in Sec. 602 of the Education of the Handicapped Act, as amended. Paragraph (15) of Sec. 602 uses the term "specific learning disabilities" to describe such conditions as perceptual handicaps, brain injury, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia, and developmental aphasia.

Paragraph (j)(2)(i) has been shortened, but not substantively changed, by the deletion of clause (C), which made explicit the inclusion of any condition which is mental or physical but whose precise nature is not at present known. Clauses (A) and (B) clearly comprehend such conditions.

The second part of the statutory and regulatory definition of handicapped person includes any person who has a record of a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity. Under the definition of "record" in paragraph (j)(2)(iii), persons who have a history of a handicapping condition but no longer have the condition, as well as persons who have been incorrectly classified as having such a condition, are protected from discrimination under Sec. 504. Frequently occurring examples of the first group are persons with histories of mental or emotional illness, heart disease, or cancer; of the second group, persons who have been misclassified as mentally retarded.

The third part of the statutory and regulatory definition of handicapped person includes any person who is regarded as having a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities. It includes many persons who are ordinarily considered to be handicapped but who do not technically fall within the first two parts of the statutory definition, such as persons with a limp. This part of the definition also includes some persons who might not ordinarily be considered handicapped, such as persons with disfiguring scars, as well as persons who have no physical or mental impairment but are treated by a recipient as if they were handicapped.

4. Drug addicts and alcoholics

As was the case during the first comment period, the issue of whether to include drug addicts and alcoholics within the definition of handicapped person was of major concern to many commenters. The arguments presented on each side of the issue were similar during the two comment periods, as was the preference of commenters for exclusion of this group of persons. While some comments reflected misconceptions about the implications of including alcoholics and drug addicts within the scope of the regulation, the Secretary understands the concerns that underlie the comments on this question and recognizes that application of Sec. 504 to active alcoholics and drug addicts presents sensitive and difficult questions that must be taken into account in interpretation and enforcement.

The Secretary has carefully examined the issue and has obtained a legal opinion from the Attorney General. That opinion concludes that drug addiction and alcoholism are "physical or mental impairments" within the meaning of Sec. 7(6) of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, and that drug addicts and alcoholics are therefore handicapped for purposes of Sec. 504 if their impairment substantially limits one of their major life activities. The Secretary therefore believes that he is without authority to exclude these conditions from the definition. There is a medical and legal consensus that alcoholism and drug addiction are diseases, although there is disagreement as to whether they are primarily mental or physical. In addition, while Congress did not focus specifically on the problems of drug addiction and alcoholism in enacting Sec. 504, the committees that considered the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 were made aware of the Department's long-standing practice of treating addicts and alcoholics as handicapped individuals eligible for rehabilitation services under the Vocational Rehabilitation Act.

The Secretary wishes to reassure recipients that inclusion of addicts and alcoholics within the scope of the regulation will not lead to the consequences feared by many commenters. It cannot be emphasized too strongly that the statute and the regulation apply only to discrimination against qualified handicapped persons solely by reason of their handicap. The fact that drug addiction and alcoholism may be handicaps does not mean that these conditions must be ignored in determining whether an individual is qualified for services or employment opportunities. On the contrary, a recipient may hold a drug addict or alcoholic to the same standard of performance and behavior to which it holds others, even if any unsatisfactory performance or behavior is related to the person's drug addiction or alcoholism. In other words, while an alcoholic or drug addict may not be denied services or disqualified from employment solely because of his or her condition, the behavioral manifestations of the condition may be taken into account in determining whether he or she is qualified.

With respect to the employment of a drug addict or alcoholic, if it can be shown that the addiction or alcoholism prevents successful performance of the job, the person need not be provided the employment opportunity in question. For example, in making employment decisions, a recipient may judge addicts and alcoholics on the same basis it judges all other applicants and employees. Thus, a recipient may consider for all applicants including drug addicts and alcoholics past personnel records, absenteeism, disruptive, abusive, or dangerous behavior, violations of rules and unsatisfactory work performance. Moreover, employers may enforce rules prohibiting the possession or use of alcohol or drugs in the work-place, provided that such rules are enforced against all employees.

With respect to other services, the implications of coverage, of alcoholics and drug addicts are two-fold: first, no person may be excluded from services solely by reason of the presence or history of these conditions; second, to the extent that the manifestations of the condition prevent the person from meeting the basic eligibility requirements of the program or cause substantial interference with the operation of the program, the condition may be taken into consideration. Thus, a college may not exclude an addict or alcoholic as a student, on the basis of addiction or alcoholism, if the person can successfully participate in the education program and complies with the rules of the college and if his or her behavior does not impede the performance of other students.

Of great concern to many commenters was the question of what effect the inclusion of drug addicts and alcoholics as handicapped persons would have on school disciplinary rules prohibiting the use or possession of drugs or alcohol by students. Neither such rules nor their application to drug addicts or alcoholics is prohibited by this regulation, provided that the rules are enforced evenly with respect to all students.

5. "Qualified handicapped person"

Paragraph (k) of 104.3 defines the term "qualified handicapped person." Throughout the regulation, this term is used instead of the statutory term "otherwise qualified handicapped person." The Department believes that the omission of the word "otherwise" is necessary in order to comport with the intent of the statute because, read literally, "otherwise" qualified handicapped persons include persons who are qualified except for their handicap, rather than in spite of their handicap. Under such a literal reading, a blind person possessing all the qualifications for driving a bus except sight could be said to be "otherwise qualified" for the job of driving. Clearly, such a result was not intended by Congress. In all other respects, the terms "qualified" and "otherwise qualified" are intended to be interchangeable.

Sec. 104.3(k)(1) defines a qualified handicapped person with respect to employment as a handicapped person who can, with reasonable accommodation, perform the essential functions of the job in question. The term "essential functions" does not appear in the corresponding provision of the Department of Labor's Sec. 503 regulation, and a few commenters objected to its inclusion on the ground that a handicapped person should be able to perform all job tasks. However, the Department believes that inclusion of the phrase is useful in emphasizing that handicapped persons should not be disqualified simply because they may have difficulty in performing tasks that bear only a marginal relationship to a particular job. Further, we are convinced that inclusion of the phrase is not inconsistent with the Department of Labor's application of its definition.

Certain commenters urged that the definition of qualified handicapped person be amended so as explicitly to place upon the employer the burden of showing that a particular mental or physical characteristic is essential. Because the same result is achieved by the requirement contained in paragraph (a) of 104.13, which requires an employer to establish that any selection criterion that tends to screen out handicapped persons is job-related, that recommendation has not been followed.

Sec. 104.3(k)(2) defines qualified handicapped person, with respect to preschool, elementary, and secondary programs, in terms of age. Several commenters recommended that eligibility for the services be based upon the standard of substantial benefit, rather than age, because of the need of many handicapped children for early or extended services if they are to have an equal opportunity to benefit from education programs. No change has been made in this provision, again because of the extreme difficulties in administration that would result from the choice of the former standard. Under the remedial action provisions of 104.6(a)(3), however, persons beyond the age limits prescribed in 104.3(k)(2) may in appropriate cases be required to be provided services that they were formerly denied because of a recipient's violation of Sec. 504.

Sec. 104.3(k)(2) states that a handicapped person is qualified for preschool, elementary, or secondary services if the person is of an age at which nonhandicapped persons are eligible for such services or at which State law mandates the provision of educational services to handicapped persons. In addition, the extended age ranges for which recipients must provide full educational opportunity to all handicapped persons in order to be eligible for assistance under the Education of the Handicapped Act generally, 3-18 as of September 1978, and 3-21 as of September 1980 are incorporated by reference in this paragraph.

Sec. 104.3(k)(3) defines qualified handicapped person with respect to postsecondary educational programs. As revised, the paragraph means that both academic and technical standards must be met by applicants to these programs. The term "technical standards" refers to all nonacademic admissions criteria that are essential to participation in the program in question.

6. General prohibitions against discrimination

Sec. 104.4 contains general prohibitions against discrimination applicable to all recipients of assistance from this Department.

Paragraph (b)(1)(i) prohibits the exclusion of qualified handicapped persons from aids, benefits, or services, and paragraph (ii) requires that equal opportunity to participate or benefit be provided. Paragraph (iii) requires that services provided to handicapped persons be as effective as those provided to the nonhandicapped. In paragraph (iv), different or separate services are prohibited except when necessary to provide equally effective benefits.

In this context, the term "equally effective," defined in paragraph (b)(2), is intended to encompass the concept of equivalent, as opposed to identical, services and to acknowledge the fact that in order to meet the individual needs of handicapped persons to the same extent that the corresponding needs of nonhandicapped persons are met, adjustments to regular programs or the provision of different programs may sometimes be necessary. This standard parallels the one established under title VI of Civil Rights Act of 1964 with respect to the provision of educational services to students whose primary language is not English. See Lau v. Nichols, 414 U.S. 563 (1974). To be equally effective, however, an aid, benefit, or service need not produce equal results; it merely must afford an equal opportunity to achieve equal results.

It must be emphasized that, although separate services must be required in some instances, the provision of unnecessarily separate or different services is discriminatory. The addition to paragraph (b)(2) of the phrase "in the most integrated setting appropriated to the person's needs" is intended to reinforce this general concept. A new paragraph (b)(3) has also been added to 104.4, requiring recipients to give qualified handicapped persons the option of participating in regular programs despite the existence of permissibly separate or different programs. The requirement has been reiterated in 104.38 and 104.47 in connection with physical education and athletics programs.

Sec. 104.4(b)(1)(v) prohibits a recipient from supporting another entity or person that subjects participants or employees in the recipient's program to discrimination on the basis of handicap. This section would, for example, prohibit financial support by a recipient to a community recreational group or to a professional or social organization that discriminates against handicapped persons. Among the criteria to be considered in each case are the substantiality of the relationship between the recipient and the other entity, including financial support by the recipient, and whether the other entity's activities relate so closely to the recipient's program or activity that they fairly should be considered activities of the recipient itself. Paragraph (b)(1)(vi) was added in response to comment in order to make explicit the prohibition against denying qualified handicapped persons the opportunity to serve on planning and advisory boards responsible for guiding federally assisted programs or activities.

Several comments appeared to interpret 104.4(b)(5), which proscribes discriminatory site selection, to prohibit a recipient that is located on hilly terrain from erecting any new buildings at its present site. That, of course, is not the case. This paragraph is not intended to apply to construction of additional buildings at an existing site. Of course, any such facilities must be made accessible in accordance with the requirements of 104.23.

7. Assurances of compliance

Sec. 104.5(a) requires a recipient to submit to the Assistant Secretary an assurance that each of its programs and activities receiving or benefiting from Federal financial assistance from this Department will be conducted in compliance with this regulation. Many commenters also sought relief from the paperwork requirements imposed by the Department's enforcement of its various civil rights responsibilities by requesting the Department to issue one form incorporating title VI, title IX, and Sec. 504 assurances. The Secretary is sympathetic to this request. While it is not feasible to adopt a single civil rights assurance form at this time, the Office for Civil Rights will work toward that goal.

8. Private rights of action

Several comments urged that the regulation incorporate provision granting beneficiaries a private right of action against recipients under Sec. 504. To confer such a right is beyond the authority of the executive branch of Government. There is, however, case law holding that such a right exists. Lloyd v. Regional Transportation Authority, 548 F. 2d 1277 (7th Cir. 1977); see Hairston v. Drosick, Civil No. 75-0691 (S.D. W. Va., Jan. 14, 1976); Gurmankin v. Castanzo, 411 F. Supp. 982 (E.D. Pa. 1976); cf. Lau v. Nichols, supra.

9. Remedial action

Where there has been a finding of discrimination, 104.6 requires a recipient to take remedial action to overcome the effects of the discrimination. Actions that might be required under paragraph (a)(1) include provision of services to persons previously discriminated against, reinstatement of employees and development of a remedial action plan. Should a recipient fail to take required remedial action, the ultimate sanctions of court action or termination of Federal financial assistance may be imposed.

Paragraph (a)(2) extends the responsibility for taking remedial action to a recipient that exercises control over a noncomplying recipient. Paragraph (a)(3) also makes clear that handicapped persons who are not in the program at the time that remedial action is required to be taken may also be the subject of such remedial action. This paragraph has been revised in response to comments in order to include persons who would have been in the program if discriminatory practices had not existed. Paragraphs (a) (1), (2), and (3) have also been amended in response to comments to make plain that, in appropriate cases, remedial action might be required to redress clear violations of the statute itself that occurred before the effective date of this regulation.

10. Voluntary action

In 104.6(b), the term "voluntary action" has been substituted for the term "affirmative action" because the use of the latter term led to some confusion. We believe the term "voluntary action" more accurately reflects the purpose of the paragraph. This provision allows action, beyond that required by the regulation, to overcome conditions that led to limited participation by handicapped persons, whether or not the limited participation was caused by any discriminatory actions on the part of the recipient. Several commenters urged that paragraphs (a) and (b) be revised to require remedial action to overcome effects of prior discriminatory practices regardless of whether there has been an express finding of discrimination. The self-evaluation requirement in paragraph (c) accomplishes much the same purpose.

11. Self-evaluation

Paragraph (c) requires recipients to conduct a self-evaluation in order to determine whether their policies or practices may discriminate against handicapped persons and to take steps to modify any discriminatory policies and practices and their effects. The Department received many comments approving of the addition to paragraph (c) of a requirement that recipients seek the assistance of handicapped persons in the self-evaluation process. This paragraph has been further amended to require consultation with handicapped persons or organizations representing them before recipients undertake the policy modifications and remedial steps prescribed in paragraphs (c) (ii) and (iii).

Paragraph (c)(2), which sets forth the recordkeeping requirements concerning self-evaluation, now applies only to recipients with fifteen or more employees. This change was made as part of an effort to reduce unnecessary or counterproductive administrative obligations on small recipients. For those recipients required to keep records, the requirements have been made more specific; records must include a list of persons consulted and a description of areas examined, problems identified, and corrective steps taken. Moreover, the records must be made available for public inspection.

12. Grievance procedure

Sec. 104.7 requires recipients with fifteen or more employees to designate an individual responsible for coordinating its compliance efforts and to adopt a grievance procedure. Two changes were made in the section in response to comment. A general requirement that appropriate due process procedures be followed has been added. It was decided that the details of such procedures could not at this time be specified because of the varied nature of the persons and entities who must establish the procedures and of the programs to which they apply. A sentence was also added to make clear that grievance procedures are not required to be made available to unsuccessful applicants for employment or to applicants for admission to colleges and universities.

The regulation does not require that grievance procedures be exhausted before recourse is sought from the Department. However, the Secretary believes that it is desirable and efficient in many cases for complainants to seek resolution of their complaints and disputes at the local level and therefore encourages them to use available grievance procedures.

A number of comments asked whether compliance with this section or the notice requirements of 104.8 could be coordinated with comparable action required by the title IX regulation. The Department encourages such efforts.

13. Notice

Sec. 104.8 (formerly 84.9) sets forth requirements for dissemination of statements of nondicrimination policy by recipients.

It is important that both handicapped persons and the public at large be aware of the obligations of recipients under Sec. 504. Both the Department and recipients have responsibilities in this regard. Indeed the Department intends to undertake a major public information effort to inform persons of their rights under Sec. 504 and this regulation. In 104.8 the Department has sought to impose a clear obligation on major recipients to notify beneficiaries and employees of the requirements of Sec. 504, without dictating the precise way in which this notice must be given. At the same time, we have avoided imposing requirements on small recipients (those with fewer than fifteen employees) that would create unnecessary and counterproductive paper work burdens on them and unduly stretch the enforcement resources of the Department.

Sec. 104.8(a), as simplified, requires recipients with fifteen or more employees to take appropriate steps to notify beneficiaries and employees of the recipient's obligations under Sec. 504. The last sentence of 104.8(a) has been revised to list possible, rather than required, means of notification. Sec. 104.8(b) requires recipients to include a notification of their policy of nondiscrimination in recruitment and other general information materials.

In response to a number of comments, 104.8 has been revised to delete the requirements of publication in local newspapers, which has proved to be both troublesome and ineffective. Several commenters suggested that notification on separate forms be allowed until present stocks of publications and forms are depleted. The final regulation explicitly allows this method of compliance. The separate form should, however, be included with each significant publication or form that is distributed.

Sec. 104 which prohibited the use of materials that might give the impression that a recipient excludes qualified handicapped persons from its program, has been deleted. The Department is convinced by the comments that this provision is unnecessary and difficult to apply. The Department encourages recipients, however, to include in their recruitment and other general information materials photographs of handicapped persons and ramps and other features of accessible buildings.

Under new 104.9 the Assistant Secretary may, under certain circumstances, require recipients with fewer than fifteen employees to comply with one or more of these requirements. Thus, if experience shows a need for imposing notice or other requirements on particular recipients or classes of small recipients, the Department is prepared to expand the coverage of these sections.

14. Inconsistent State laws

Sec. 104.10(a) states that compliance with the regulation is not excused by State or local laws limiting the eligibility of qualified handicapped persons to receive services or to practice an occupation. The provision thus applies only with respect to state or local laws that unjustifiably differentiate on the basis of handicap.

Paragraph (b) further points out that the presence of limited employment opportunities in a particular profession, does not excuse a recipient from complying with the regulation. Thus, a law school could not deny admission to a blind applicant because blind lawyers may find it more difficult to find jobs than do nonhandicapped lawyers.


34 CFR 104.33-104.36

Sec. 104.33 Free appropriate public education

(a) General

A recipient that operates a public elementary or secondary education program shall provide a free appropriate public education to each qualified handicapped person who is in the recipient's jurisdiction, regardless of the nature or severity of the person's handicap.

(b) Appropriate education

(1) For the purpose of this subpart, the provision of an appropriate education is the provision of regular or special education and related aids and services that (i) are designed to meet individual educational needs of handicapped persons as adequately as the needs of nonhandicapped persons are met and (ii) are based upon adherence to procedures that satisfy the requirements of 104.34, 104.35, and 104.36.

(2) Implementation of an individualized education program developed in accordance with the Education of the Handicapped Act is one means of meeting the standard established in paragraph (b)(1)(i) of this section.

(3) A recipient may place a handicapped person in or refer such person to a program other than the one that it operates as its means of carrying out the requirements of this subpart. If so, the recipient remains responsible for ensuring that the requirements of this subpart are met with respect to any handicapped person so placed or referred.

(c) Free education

(1) General

For the purpose of this section, the provision of a free education is the provision of educational and related services without cost to the handicapped person or to his or her parents or guardian, except for those fees that are imposed on non-handicapped persons or their parents or guardian. It may consist either of the provision of free services or, if a recipient places a handicapped person in or refers such person to a program not operated by the recipient as its means of carrying out the requirements of this subpart, of payment for the costs of the program. Funds available from any public or private agency may be used to meet the requirements of this subpart. Nothing in this section shall be construed to relieve an insurer or similar third party from an otherwise valid obligation to provide or pay for services provided to a handicapped person.

(2) Transportation

If a recipient places a handicapped person in or refers such person to a program not operated by the recipient as its means of carrying out the requirements of this subpart, the recipient shall ensure that adequate transportation to and from the program is provided at no greater cost than would be incurred by the person or his or her parents or guardian if the person were placed in the program operated by the recipient.

(3) Residential placement

If placement in a public or private residential program is necessary to provide a free appropriate public education to a handicapped person because of his or her handicap, the program, including non-medical care and room and board, shall be provided at no cost to the person or his or her parents or guardian.

(4) Placement of handicapped persons by parents

If a recipient has made available, in conformance with the requirements of this section and 104.34, a free appropriate public education to a handicapped person and the person's parents or guardian choose to place the person in a private school, the recipient is not required to pay for the person's education in the private school. Disagreements between a parent or guardian and a recipient regarding whether the recipient has made such a program available or otherwise regarding the question of financial responsibility are subject to the due process procedures of 104.36.

(d) Compliance

A recipient may not exclude any qualified handicapped person from a public elementary or secondary education after the effective date of this part. A recipient that is not, on the effective date of this regulation, in full compliance with the other requirements of the preceding paragraphs of this section shall meet such requirements at the earliest practicable time and in no event later than September 1, 1978.

Sec. 104.34 Educational setting

(a) Academic setting

A recipient to which this subpart applies shall educate, or shall provide for the education of, each qualified handicapped person in its jurisdiction with persons who are not handicapped to the maximum extent appropriate to the needs of the handicapped person. A recipient shall place a handicapped person in the regular educational environment operated by the recipient unless it is demonstrated by the recipient that the education of the person in the regular environment with the use of supplementary aids and services cannot be achieved satisfactorily. Whenever a recipient places a person in a setting other than the regular educational environment pursuant to this paragraph, it shall take into account the proximity of the alternate setting to the person's home.

(b) Nonacademic settings

In providing or arranging for the provision of nonacademic and extracurricular services and activities, including meals, recess periods, and the services and activities set forth in 104.37(a)(2), a recipient shall ensure that handicapped persons participate with nonhandicapped persons in such activities and services to the maximum extent appropriate to the needs of the handicapped person in question.

(c) Comparable facilities

If a recipient, in compliance with paragraph (a) of this section, operates a facility that is identifiable as being for handicapped persons, the recipient shall ensure that the facility and the services and activities provided therein are comparable to the other facilities, services, and activities of the recipient.

Sec. 104.35 Evaluation and placement

(a) Preplacement evaluation

A recipient that operates a public elementary or secondary education program shall conduct an evaluation in accordance with the requirements of paragraph (b) of this section of any person who, because of handicap, needs or is believed to need special education or related services before taking any action with respect to the initial placement of the person in a regular or special education program and any subsequent significant change in placement.

(b) Evaluation procedures

A recipient to which this subpart applies shall establish standards and procedures for the evaluation and placement of persons who, because of handicap, need or are believed to need special education or related services which ensure that:

(1) Tests and other evaluation materials have been validated for the specific purpose for which they are used and are administered by trained personnel in conformance with the instructions provided by their producer;

(2) Tests and other evaluation materials include those tailored to assess specific areas of educational need and not merely those which are designed to provide a single general intelligence quotient; and

(3) Tests are selected and administered so as best to ensure that, when a test is administered to a student with impaired sensory, manual, or speaking skills, the test results accurately reflect the student's aptitude or achievement level or whatever other factor the test purports to measure, rather than reflecting the student's impaired sensory, manual, or speaking skills (except where those skills are the factors that the test purports to measure).

(c) Placement procedures

In interpreting evaluation data and in making placement decisions, a recipient shall (1) draw upon information from a variety of sources, including aptitude and achievement tests, teacher recommendations, physical condition, social or cultural background, and adaptive behavior, (2) establish procedures to ensure that information obtained from all such sources is documented and carefully considered, (3) ensure that the placement decision is made by a group of persons, including persons knowledgeable about the child, the meaning of the evaluation data, and the placement options, and (4) ensure that the placement decision is made in conformity with 104.34.

(d) Reevaluation

A recipient to which this section applies shall establish procedures, in accordance with paragraph (b) of this section, for periodic reevaluation of students who have been provided special education and related services. A reevaluation procedure consistent with the Education for the Handicapped Act is one means of meeting this requirement.

Sec. 104.36 Procedural safeguards

A recipient that operates a public elementary or secondary education program shall establish and implement, with respect to actions regarding the identification, evaluation, or educational placement of persons who, because of handicap, need or are believed to need special instruction or related services, a system of procedural safeguards that includes notice, an opportunity for the parents or guardian of the person to examine relevant records, an impartial hearing with opportunity for participation by the person's parents or guardian and representation by counsel, and a review procedure. Compliance with the procedural safeguards of Sec. 615 of the Education of the Handicapped Act is one means of meeting this requirement.


34 CFR 104.37

Sec. 104.37 Nonacademic services

(a) General

(1) A recipient to which this subpart applies shall provide non-academic and extracurricular services and activities in such manner as is necessary to afford handicapped students an equal opportunity for participation in such services and activities.

(2) Nonacademic and extracurricular services and activities may include counseling services, physical recreational athletics, transportation, health services, recreational activities, special interest groups or clubs sponsored by the recipients, referrals to agencies which provide assistance to handicapped persons, and employment of students, including both employment by the recipient and assistance in making available outside employment.

(b) Counseling services

A recipient to which this subpart applies that provides personal, academic, or vocational counseling, guidance, or placement services to its students shall provide these services without discrimination on the basis of handicap. The recipient shall ensure that qualified handicapped students are not counseled toward more restrictive career objectives than are nonhandicapped students with similar interests and abilities.

(c) Physical education and athletics

(1) In providing physical education courses and athletics and similar programs and activities to any of its students, a recipient to which this subpart applies may not discriminate on the basis of handicap. A recipient that offers physical education courses or that operates or sponsors interscholastic, club, or intramural athletics shall provide to qualified handicapped students an equal opportunity for participation in these activities.

(2) A recipient may offer to handicapped students physical education and athletic activities that are separate or different from those offered to nonhandicapped students only if separation or differentiation is consistent with the requirements of 104.34 and only if no qualified handicapped student is denied the opportunity to compete for teams or to participate in courses that are not separate or different.


34 CFR 300.7

Sec. 300.7 Children with disabilities

(a)(1) As used in this part, the term "children with disabilities" means those children evaluated in accordance with Secs. 300.530-300.534 as having mental retardation, hearing impairments including deafness, speech or language impairments, visual impairments including blindness, serious emotional disturbance, orthopedic impairments, autism, traumatic brain injury, other health impairments, specific learning disabilities, deaf-blindness, or multiple disabilities, and who because of those impairments need special education and related services.

(2) The term "children with disabilities" for children aged 3 through 5 may, at a State's discretion, include children--

(i) Who are experiencing developmental delays, as defined by the State and as measured by appropriate diagnostic instruments and procedures, in one or more of the following areas: physical development, cognitive development, communication development, social or emotional development, or adaptive development; and

(ii) Who, for that reason, need special education and related services.

(b) The terms used in this definition are defined as follows:

(1) "Autism" means a developmental disability significantly affecting verbal and nonverbal communication and social interaction, generally evident before age 3, that adversely affects a child's educational performance. Other characteristics often associated with autism are engagement in repetitive activities and stereotyped movements, resistance to environmental change or change in daily routines, and unusual responses to sensory experiences. The term does not apply if a child's educational performance is adversely affected primarily because the child has a serious emotional disturbance, as defined in paragraph (b)(9) of this section.

(2) "Deaf-blindness" means concomitant hearing and visual impairments, the combination of which causes such severe communication and other developmental and educational problems that they cannot be accommodated in special education programs solely for children with deafness or children with blindness.

(3) "Deafness" means a hearing impairment that is so severe that the child is impaired in processing linguistic information through hearing, with or without amplification, that adversely affects a child's educational performance.

(4) "Hearing impairment" means an impairment in hearing, whether permanent or fluctuating, that adversely affects a child's educational performance but that is not included under the definition of deafness in this section.

(5) "Mental retardation" means significantly subaverage general intellectual functioning existing concurrently with deficits in adaptive behavior and manifested during the developmental period that adversely affects a child's educational performance.

(6) "Multiple disabilities" means concomitant impairments (such as mental retardation--blindness, mental retardation--orthopedic impairment, etc.), the combination of which causes such severe educational problems that they cannot be accommodated in special education programs solely for one of the impairments. The term does not include deaf-blindness.

(7) "Orthopedic impairment" means a severe orthopedic impairment that adversely affects a child's educational performance. The term includes impairments caused by congenital anomaly (e.g., clubfoot, absence of some member, etc.), impairments caused by disease (e.g., poliomyelitis, bone tuberculosis, etc.), and impairments from other causes (e.g., cerebral palsy, amputations, and fractures or burns that cause contractures).

(8) "Other health impairment" means having limited strength, vitality or alertness, due to chronic or acute health problems such as a heart condition, tuberculosis, rheumatic fever, nephritis, asthma, sickle cell anemia, hemophilia, epilepsy, lead poisoning, leukemia, or diabetes that adversely affects a child's educational performance.

(9) "Serious emotional disturbance" is defined as follows:

(i) The term means a condition exhibiting one or more of the following characteristics over a long period of time and to a marked degree that adversely affects a child's educational performance--

(A) An inability to learn that cannot be explained by intellectual, sensory, or health factors;

(B) An inability to build or maintain satisfactory interpersonal relationships with peers and teachers;

(C) Inappropriate types of behavior or feelings under normal circumstances;

(D) A general pervasive mood of unhappiness or depression; or

(E) A tendency to develop physical symptoms or fears associated with personal or school problems.

(ii) The term includes schizophrenia. The term does not apply to children who are socially maladjusted, unless it is determined that they have a serious emotional disturbance.

(10) "Specific learning disability" means a disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using language, spoken or written, that may manifest itself in an imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell, or to do mathematical calculations. The term includes such conditions as perceptual disabilities, brain injury, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia, and developmental aphasia. The term does not apply to children who have learning problems that are primarily the result of visual, hearing, or motor disabilities, of mental retardation, of emotional disturbance, or of environmental, cultural, or economic disadvantage.

(11) "Speech or language impairment" means a communication disorder such as stuttering, impaired articulation, a language impairment, or a voice impairment that adversely affects a child's educational performance.

(12) "Traumatic brain injury" means an acquired injury to the brain caused by an external physical force, resulting in total or partial functional disability or psychosocial impairment, or both, that adversely affects a child's educational performance. The term applies to open or closed head injuries resulting in impairments in one or more areas, such as cognition; language; memory; attention; reasoning; abstract thinking; judgment; problem-solving; sensory, perceptual and motor abilities; psychosocial behavior; physical functions; information processing; and speech. The term does not apply to brain injuries that are congenital or degenerative, or brain injuries induced by birth trauma.

(13) "Visual impairment including blindness" means an impairment in vision that, even with correction, adversely affects a child's educational performance. The term includes both partial sight and blindness.

Note: If a child manifests characteristics of the disability category "autism" after age 3, that child still could be diagnosed as having "autism" if the criteria in paragraph (b)(1) of this section are satisfied.


34 CFR 300.16

Sec. 300.16 Related services

(a) As used in this part, the term "related services" means transportation and such developmental, corrective, and other supportive services as are required to assist a child with a disability to benefit from special education, and includes speech pathology and audiology, psychological services, physical and occupational therapy, recreation, including therapeutic recreation, early identification and assessment of disabilities in children, counseling services, including rehabilitation counseling, and medical services for diagnostic or evaluation purposes. The term also includes school health services, social work services in schools, and parent counseling and training.

(b) The terms used in this definition are defined as follows:

(1) "Audiology" includes--

(i) Identification of children with hearing loss;

(ii) Determination of the range, nature, and degree of hearing loss, including referral for medical or other professional attention for the habilitation of hearing;

(iii) Provision of habilitative activities, such as language habilitation, auditory training, speech reading (lip-reading), hearing evaluation, and speech conservation;

(iv) Creation and administration of programs for prevention of hearing loss;

(v) Counseling and guidance of pupils, parents, and teachers regarding hearing loss; and

(vi) Determination of the child's need for group and individual amplification, selecting and fitting an appropriate aid, and evaluating the effectiveness of amplification.

(2) "Counseling services" means services provided by qualified social workers, psychologists, guidance counselors, or other qualified personnel.

(3) "Early identification and assessment of disabilities in children" means the implementation of a formal plan for identifying a disability as early as possible in a child's life.

(4) "Medical services" means services provided by a licensed physician to determine a child's medically related disability that results in the child's need for special education and related services.

(5) "Occupational therapy" includes--

(i) Improving, developing or restoring functions impaired or lost through illness, injury, or deprivation;

(ii) Improving ability to perform tasks for independent functioning when functions are impaired or lost; and

(iii) Preventing, through early intervention, initial or further impairment or loss of function.

(6) "Parent counseling and training" means assisting parents in understanding the special needs of their child and providing parents with information about child development.

(7) "Physical therapy" means services provided by a qualified physical therapist.

(8) "Psychological services" includes--

(i) Administering psychological and educational tests, and other assessment procedures;

(ii) Interpreting assessment results;

(iii) Obtaining, integrating, and interpreting information about child behavior and conditions relating to learning.

(iv) Consulting with other staff members in planning school programs to meet the special needs of children as indicated by psychological tests, interviews, and behavioral evaluations; and

(v) Planning and managing a program of psychological services, including psychological counseling for children and parents.

(9) "Recreation" includes--

(i) Assessment of leisure function;

(ii) Therapeutic recreation services;

(iii) Recreation programs in schools and community agencies; and

(iv) Leisure education.

(10) "Rehabilitation counseling services" means services provided by qualified personnel in individual or group sessions that focus specifically on career development, employment preparation, achieving independence, and integration in the workplace and community of a student with a disability. The term also includes vocational rehabilitation services provided to students with disabilities by vocational rehabilitation programs funded under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended.

(11) "School health services" means services provided by a qualified school nurse or other qualified person.

(12) "Social work services in schools" includes--

(i) Preparing a social or developmental history on a child with a disability;

(ii) Group and individual counseling with the child and family;

(iii) Working with those problems in a child's living situation (home, school, and community) that affect the child's adjustment in school; and

(iv) Mobilizing school and community resources to enable the child to learn as effectively as possible in his or her educational program.

(13) "Speech pathology" includes--

(i) Identification of children with speech or language impairments;

(ii) Diagnosis and appraisal of specific speech or language impairments;

(iii) Referral for medical or other professional attention necessary for the habilitation of speech or language impairments;

(iv) Provision of speech and language services for the habilitation or prevention of communicative impairments; and

(v) Counseling and guidance of parents, children, and teachers regarding speech and language impairments.

(14) "Transportation" includes--

(i) Travel to and from school and between schools;

(ii) Travel in and around school buildings; and

(iii) Specialized equipment (such as special or adapted buses, lifts, and ramps), if required to provide special transportation for a child with a disability.

Note: With respect to related services, the Senate Report states:

The Committee bill provides a definition of related services, making clear that all such related services may not be required for each individual child and that such term includes early identification and assessment of handicapping conditions and the provision of services to minimize the effects of such conditions. (S. Rep. No. 94-168, p. 12 (1975))

The list of related services is not exhaustive and may include other developmental, corrective, or supportive services (such as artistic and cultural programs, and art, music, and dance therapy), if they are required to assist a child with a disability to benefit from special education.

There are certain kinds of services that might be provided by persons from varying professional backgrounds and with a variety of operational titles, depending upon requirements in individual States. For example, counseling services might be provided by social workers, psychologists, or guidance counselors, and psychological testing might be done by qualified psychological examiners, psychometrists, or psychologists, depending upon State standards.

Each related service defined under this part may include appropriate administrative and supervisory activities that are necessary for program planning, management, and evaluation.


34 CFR 300.17

Sec. 300.17 Special education

(a)(1) As used in this part, the term "special education" means specially designed instruction, at no cost to the parents, to meet the unique needs of a child with a disability, including--

(i) Instruction conducted in the classroom, in the home, in hospitals and institutions, and in other settings; and

(ii) Instruction in physical education.

(2) The term includes speech pathology, or any other related service, if the service consists of specially designed instruction, at no cost to the parents, to meet the unique needs of a child with a disability, and is considered special education rather than a related service under State standards.

(3) The term also includes vocational education if it consists of specially designed instruction, at no cost to the parents, to meet the unique needs of a child with a disability.

(b) The terms in this definition are defined as follows:

(1) "At no cost" means that all specially designed instruction is provided without charge, but does not preclude incidental fees that are normally charged to nondisabled students or their parents as a part of the regular education program.

(2) "Physical education" is defined as follows:

(i) The term means the development of--

(A) Physical and motor fitness;

(B) Fundamental motor skills and patterns; and

(C) Skills in aquatics, dance, and individual and group games and sports (including intramural and lifetime sports).

(ii) The term includes special physical education, adaptive physical education, movement education, and motor development.

(3) "Vocational education" means organized educational programs that are directly related to the preparation of individuals for paid or unpaid employment, or for additional preparation for a career requiring other than a baccalaureate or advanced degree.

Note 1: The definition of special education is a particularly important one under these regulations, since a child does not have a disability under this part unless he or she needs special education. (See the definition of children with disabilities in Sec. 300.7.) The definition of related services (Sec. 300.16) also depends on this definition, since a related service must be necessary for a child to benefit from special education. Therefore, if a child does not need special education, there can be no related services, and the child is not a child with a disability and is therefore not covered under the Act.

Note 2: The above definition of vocational education is taken from the Vocational Education Act of 1963, as amended by Public Law 94-482. Under that Act, "vocational education" includes industrial arts and consumer and homemaking education programs.

Vocational education programs and activities for individuals with handicaps will be provided in the least restrictive environment in accordance with Sec. 612(5)(B) of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and will, whenever appropriate, be included as a component of the individualized education program developed under Sec. 614(a)(5) of such Act. Students with handicaps who have individualized education programs developed under Sec. 614(a)(5) of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act shall, with respect to vocational education programs, be afforded the rights and protections guaranteed such students under Secs. 612, 614, and 615 of such Act.


34 CFR 300.18

Sec. 300.18 Transition services

(a) As used in this part, "transition services" means a coordinated set of activities for a student, designed within an outcome-oriented process, that promotes movement from school to post-school activities, including postsecondary education, vocational training, integrated employment (including supported employment), continuing and adult education, adult services, independent living, or community participation.

(b) The coordinated set of activities described in paragraph (a) of this section must--

(1) Be based on the individual student's needs, taking into account the student's preferences and interests; and

(2) Include--

(i) Instruction;

(ii) Community experiences;

(iii) The development of employment and other post-school adult living objectives; and

(iv) If appropriate, acquisition of daily living skills and functional vocational evaluation.

Note: Transition services for students with disabilities may be special education, if they are provided as specially designed instruction, or related services, if they are required to assist a student with a disability to benefit from special education. The list of activities in paragraph (b) is not intended to be exhaustive.


34 CFR 300.340-300.350

Sec. 300.340 Definitions

(a) As used in this part, the term "individualized education program" means a written statement for a child with a disability that is developed and implemented in accordance with Secs. 300.341-300.350.

(b) As used in Secs. 300.346 and 300.347, "participating agency" means a State or local agency, other than the public agency responsible for a student's education, that is financially and legally responsible for providing transition services to the student.

Sec. 300.341 State educational agency responsibility

(a) Public agencies

The SEA shall ensure that each public agency develops and implements an IEP for each of its children with disabilities.

(b) Private schools and facilities

The SEA shall ensure that an IEP is developed and implemented for each child with a disability who--

(1) Is placed in or referred to a private school or facility by a public agency; or

(2) Is enrolled in a parochial school or other private school and receives special education or related services from a public agency.

Note: This section applies to all public agencies, including other State agencies (e.g., departments of mental health and welfare) that provide special education to a child with a disability either directly, by contract or through other arrangements. Thus, if a State welfare agency contracts with a private school or facility to provide special education to a child with a disability, that agency would be responsible for ensuring that an IEP is developed for the child.

Sec. 300.342 When individualized education programs must be in effect

(a) At the beginning of each school year, each public agency shall have in effect an IEP for every child with a disability who is receiving special education from that agency.

(b) An IEP must--

(1) Be in effect before special education and related services are provided to a child; and

(2) Be implemented as soon as possible following the meetings under Sec. 300.343.

Note: Under paragraph (b)(2) of this section, it is expected that the IEP of a child with a disability will be implemented immediately following the meetings under Sec. 300.343. An exception to this would be (1) when the meetings occur during the summer or a vacation period, or (2) where there are circumstances that require a short delay (e.g., working out transportation arrangements). However, there can be no undue delay in providing special education and related services to the child.

Sec. 300.343 Meetings

(a) General

Each public agency is responsible for initiating and conducting meetings for the purpose of developing, reviewing, and revising the IEP of a child with a disability (or, if consistent with State policy and at the discretion of the LEA, and with the concurrence of the parents, an individualized family service plan described in Sec. 677(d) of the Act for each child with a disability, aged 3 through 5).

(b) [Reserved]

(c) Timeline

A meeting to develop an IEP for a child must be held within 30 calendar days of a determination that the child needs special education and related services.

(d) Review

Each public agency shall initiate and conduct meetings to review each child's IEP periodically and, if appropriate, revise its provisions. A meeting must be held for this purpose at least once a year.

Note: The date on which agencies must have IEPs in effect is specified in Sec. 300.342 (the beginning of each school year). However, except for new children with disabilities (i.e., those evaluated and determined to need special education and related services for the first time), the timing of meetings to develop, review, and revise IEPs is left to the discretion of each agency.

In order to have IEPs in effect at the beginning of the school year, agencies could hold meetings either at the end of the preceding school year or during the summer prior to the next school year. Meetings may be held any time throughout the year, as long as IEPs are in effect at the beginning of each school year.

The statute requires agencies to hold a meeting at least once each year in order to review and, if appropriate, revise each child's IEP. The timing of those meetings could be on the anniversary date of the child's last IEP meeting, but this is left to the discretion of the agency.

Sec. 300.344 Participants in meetings

(a) General

The public agency shall ensure that each meeting includes the following participants:

(1) A representative of the public agency, other than the child's teacher, who is qualified to provide, or supervise the provision of, special education.

(2) The child's teacher.

(3) One or both of the child's parents, subject to Sec. 300.345.

(4) The child, if appropriate.

(5) Other individuals at the discretion of the parent or agency.

(b) Evaluation personnel

For a child with a disability who has been evaluated for the first time, the public agency shall ensure--

(1) That a member of the evaluation team participates in the meeting; or

(2) That the representative of the public agency, the child's teacher, or some other person is present at the meeting, who is knowledgeable about the evaluation procedures used with the child and is familiar with the results of the evaluation.

(c) Transition services participants

(1) If a purpose of the meeting is the consideration of transition services for a student, the public agency shall invite--

(i) The student; and

(ii) A representative of any other agency that is likely to be responsible for providing or paying for transition services.

(2) If the student does not attend, the public agency shall take other steps to ensure that the student's preferences and interests are considered; and

(3) If an agency invited to send a representative to a meeting does not do so, the public agency shall take other steps to obtain the participation of the other agency in the planning of any transition services.

Note 1: In deciding which teacher will participate in meetings on a child's IEP, the agency may wish to consider the following possibilities:

(a) For a child with a disability who is receiving special education, the teacher could be the child's special education teacher. If the child's disability is a speech impairment, the teacher could be the speech-language pathologist.

(b) For a child with a disability who is being considered for placement in special education, the teacher could be the child's regular teacher, or a teacher qualified to provide education in the type of program in which the child may be placed, or both.

(c) If the child is not in school or has more than one teacher, the agency may designate which teacher will participate in the meeting.

Either the teacher or the agency representative should be qualified in the area of the child's suspected disability.

For a child whose primary disability is a speech or language impairment, the evaluation personnel participating under paragraph (b)(1) of this section would normally be the speech-language pathologist.

Note 2: Under paragraph (c) of this section, the public agency is required to invite each student to participate in his or her IEP meeting, if a purpose of the meeting is the consideration of transition services for the student. For all students who are 16 years of age or older, one of the purposes of the annual meeting will always be the planning of transition services, since transition services are a required component of the IEP for these students.

For a student younger than age 16, if transition services are initially discussed at a meeting that does not include the student, the public agency is responsible for ensuring that, before a decision about transition services for the student is made, a subsequent IEP meeting is conducted for that purpose, and the student is invited to the meeting.

Sec. 300.345 Parent participation

(a) Each public agency shall take steps to ensure that one or both of the parents of the child with a disability are present at each meeting or are afforded the opportunity to participate, including--

(1) Notifying parents of the meeting early enough to ensure that they will have an opportunity to attend; and

(2) Scheduling the meeting at a mutually agreed on time and place.

(b)(1) The notice under paragraph (a)(1) of this section must indicate the purpose, time, and location of the meeting and who will be in attendance;

(2) If a purpose of the meeting is the consideration of transition services for a student, the notice must also--

(i) Indicate this purpose;

(ii) Indicate that the agency will invite the student; and

(iii) Identify any other agency that will be invited to send a representative.

(c) If neither parent can attend, the public agency shall use other methods to ensure parent participation, including individual or conference telephone calls.

(d) A meeting may be conducted without a parent in attendance if the public agency is unable to convince the parents that they should attend. In this case the public agency must have a record of its attempts to arrange a mutually agreed on time and place such as--

(1) Detailed records of telephone calls made or attempted and the results of those calls;

(2) Copies of correspondence sent to the parents and any responses received; and

(3) Detailed records of visits made to the parent's home or place of employment and the results of those visits.

(e) The public agency shall take whatever action is necessary to ensure that the parent understands the proceedings at a meeting, including arranging for an interpreter for parents with deafness or whose native language is other than English.

(f) The public agency shall give the parent, on request, a copy of the IEP.

Note: The notice in paragraph (a) of this section could also inform parents that they may bring other people to the meeting.

As indicated in paragraph (c) of this section, the procedure used to notify parents (whether oral or written or both) is left to the discretion of the agency, but the agency must keep a record of its efforts to contact parents.

(Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control number 1820-0030.)

Sec. 300.346 Content of individualized education program

(a) General

The IEP for each child must include--

(1) A statement of the child's present levels of educational performance;

(2) A statement of annual goals, including short-term instructional objectives;

(3) A statement of the specific special education and related services to be provided to the child and the extent that the child will be able to participate in regular educational programs;

(4) The projected dates for initiation of services and the anticipated duration of the services; and

(5) Appropriate objective criteria and evaluation procedures and schedules for determining, on at least an annual basis, whether the short term instructional objectives are being achieved.

(b) Transition services

(1) The IEP for each student, beginning no later than age 16 (and at a younger age, if determined appropriate), must include a statement of the needed transition services as defined in Sec. 300.18, including, if appropriate, a statement of each public agency's and each participating agency's responsibilities or linkages, or both, before the student leaves the school setting.

(2) If the IEP team determines that services are not needed in one or more of the areas specified in Sec. 300.18 (b)(2)(i) through (b)(2)(iii), the IEP must include a statement to that effect and the basis upon which the determination was made.

Note 1: The legislative history of the transition services provisions of the Act suggests that the statement of needed transition services referred to in paragraph (b) of this section should include a commitment by any participating agency to meet any financial responsibility it may have in the provision of transition services. See House Report No. 101-544, p. 11 (1990).

Note 2: With respect to the provisions of paragraph (b) of this section, it is generally expected that the statement of needed transition services will include the areas listed in Sec. 300.18 (b)(2)(i) through (b)(2)(iii). If the IEP team determines that services are not needed in one of those areas, the public agency must implement the requirements in paragraph (b)(2) of this section. Since it is a part of the IEP, the IEP team must reconsider its determination at least annually.

Note 3: Sec. 602(a)(20) of the Act provides that IEPs must include a statement of needed transition services for students beginning no later than age 16, but permits transition services to students below age 16 (i.e., ". . .and, when determined appropriate for the individual, beginning at age 14 or younger.").

Although the statute does not mandate transition services for all students beginning at age 14 or younger, the provision of these services could have a significantly positive effect on the employment and independent living outcomes for many of these students in the future, especially for students who are likely to drop out before age 16. With respect to the provision of transition services to students below age 16, the Report of the House Committee on Education and Labor on Public Law 101-476 includes the following statement:

Although this language leaves the final determination of when to initiate transition services for students under age 16 to the IEP process, it nevertheless makes clear that Congress expects consideration to be given to the need for transition services for some students by age 14 or younger. The Committee encourages that approach because of their concern that age 16 may be too late for many students, particularly those at risk of dropping out of school and those with the most severe disabilities.

Even for those students who stay in school until age 18, many will need more than two years of transitional services. Students with disabilities are now dropping out of school before age 16, feeling that the education system has little to offer them.

Initiating services at a younger age will be critical. (House Report No. 101-544, 10 (1990).)

Sec. 300.347 Agency responsibilities for transition services

(a) If a participating agency fails to provide agreed-upon transition services contained in the IEP of a student with a disability, the public agency responsible for the student's education shall, as soon as possible, initiate a meeting for the purpose of identifying alternative strategies to meet the transition objectives and, if necessary, revising the student's IEP.

(b) Nothing in this part relieves any participating agency, including a State vocational rehabilitation agency, of the responsibility to provide or pay for any transition service that the agency would otherwise provide to students with disabilities who meet the eligibility criteria of that agency.

Sec. 300.348 Private school placements by public agencies

(a) Developing individualized education programs

(1) Before a public agency places a child with a disability in, or refers a child to, a private school or facility, the agency shall initiate and conduct a meeting to develop an IEP for the child in accordance with Sec. 300.343.

(2) The agency shall ensure that a representative of the private school or facility attends the meeting. If the representative cannot attend, the agency shall use other methods to ensure participation by the private school or facility, including individual or conference telephone calls.

(3) [Reserved]

(b) Reviewing and revising individualized education programs

(1) After a child with a disability enters a private school or facility, any meetings to review and revise the child's IEP may be initiated and conducted by the private school or facility at the discretion of the public agency.

(2) If the private school or facility initiates and conducts these meetings, the public agency shall ensure that the parents and an agency representative:

(i) Are involved in any decision about the child's IEP; and

(ii) Agree to any proposed changes in the program before those changes are implemented.

(c) Responsibility

Even if a private school or facility implements a child's IEP, responsibility for compliance with this part remains with the public agency and the SEA.

Sec. 300.349 Children with disabilities in parochial or other private schools

If a child with a disability is enrolled in a parochial or other private school and receives special education or related services from a public agency, the public agency shall--

(a) Initiate and conduct meetings to develop, review, and revise an IEP for the child, in accordance with Sec. 300.343; and

(b) Ensure that a representative of the parochial or other private school attends each meeting. If the representative cannot attend, the agency shall use other methods to ensure participation by the private school, including individual or conference telephone calls.

(Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control number 1820-0030.)

Sec. 300.350 Individualized education program--accountability

Each public agency must provide special education and related services to a child with a disability in accordance with an IEP. However, Part B of the Act does not require that any agency, teacher, or other person be held accountable if a child does not achieve the growth projected in the annual goals and objectives.

Note: This section is intended to relieve concerns that the IEP constitutes a guarantee by the public agency and the teacher that a child will progress at a specified rate. However, this section does not relieve agencies and teachers from making good faith efforts to assist the child in achieving the goals and objectives listed in the IEP. Further, the section does not limit a parent's right to complain and ask for revisions of the child's program, or to invoke due process procedures, if the parent feels that these efforts are not being made.


34 CFR 300.500(a)

(a) As used in this part: "Consent" means that--

(1) The parent has been fully informed of all information relevant to the activity for which consent is sought, in his or her native language, or other mode of communication;

(2) The parent understands and agrees in writing to the carrying out of the activity for which his or her consent is sought, and the consent describes that activity and lists the records (if any) that will be released and to whom; and

(3) The parent understands that the granting of consent is voluntary on the part of the parent and may be revoked at any time.


34 CFR 300.504-300.505

Sec. 300.504 Prior notice; parent consent

(a) Notice

Written notice that meets the requirements of Sec. 300.505 must be given to the parents of a child with a disability a reasonable time before the public agency--

(1) Proposes to initiate or change the identification, evaluation, or educational placement of the child or the provision of FAPE to the child; or

(2) Refuses to initiate or change the identification, evaluation, or educational placement of the child or the provision of FAPE to the child.

(b) Consent; procedures if a parent refuses consent

(1) Parental consent must be obtained before--

(i) Conducting a preplacement evaluation; and

(ii) Initial placement of a child with a disability in a program providing special education and related services.

(2) If State law requires parental consent before a child with a disability is evaluated or initially provided special education and related services, State procedures govern the public agency in overriding a parent's refusal to consent.

(3) If there is no State law requiring consent before a child with a disability is evaluated or initially provided special education and related services, the public agency may use the hearing procedures in Secs. 300.506-300.508 to determine if the child may be evaluated or initially provided special education and related services without parental consent. If it does so and the hearing officer upholds the agency, the agency may evaluate or initially provide special education and related services to the child without the parent's consent, subject to the parent's rights under Secs. 300.510-300.513.

(c) Additional State consent requirements

In addition to the parental consent requirements described in paragraph (b) of this section, a State may require parental consent for other services and activities under this part if it ensures that each public agency in the State establishes and implements effective procedures to ensure that a parent's refusal to consent does not result in a failure to provide the child with FAPE.

(d) Limitation

A public agency may not require parental consent as a condition of any benefit to the parent or the child except for the service or activity for which consent is required under paragraphs (b) or (c) of this section.

Note 1: Any changes in a child's special education program after the initial placement are not subject to the parental consent requirements in paragraph (b)(1) of this section, but are subject to the prior notice requirement in paragraph (a) of this section and the IEP requirements of Secs. 300.340-300.350.

Note 2: Paragraph (b)(2) of this section means that if State law requires parental consent before evaluation or before special education and related services are initially provided, and the parent refuses (or otherwise withholds) consent, State procedures, such as obtaining a court order authorizing the public agency to conduct the evaluation or provide the education and related services, must be followed.

If, however, there is no legal requirement for consent outside of these regulations, the public agency may use the due process procedures of Secs. 300.506-300.508 to obtain a decision to allow the evaluation or services without parental consent. The agency must notify the parent of its actions, and the parent has appeal rights as well as rights at the hearing itself.

Note 3: If a State adopts a consent requirement in addition to those described in paragraph (b) of this section and consent is refused, paragraph (d) of this section requires that the public agency must nevertheless provide the services and activities that are not in dispute. For example, if a State requires parental consent to the provision of all services identified in an IEP and the parent refuses to consent to physical therapy services included in the IEP, the agency is not relieved of its obligation to implement those portions of the IEP to which the parent consents.

If the parent refuses to consent and the public agency determines that the service or activity in dispute is necessary to provide FAPE to the child, paragraph (c) of this section requires that the agency must implement its procedures to override the refusal.

This section does not preclude the agency from reconsidering its proposal if it believes that circumstances warrant.

Sec. 300.505 Content of notice

(a) The notice under Sec. 300.504 must include--

(1) A full explanation of all of the procedural safeguards available to the parents under Sec. 300.500, Secs. 300.502-300.515, and Secs. 300.562-300.569;

(2) A description of the action proposed or refused by the agency, an explanation of why the agency proposes or refuses to take the action, and a description of any options the agency considered and the reasons why those options were rejected;

(3) A description of each evaluation procedure, test, record, or report the agency uses as a basis for the proposal or refusal; and

(4) A description of any other factors that are relevant to the agency's proposal or refusal.

(b) The notice must be--

(1) Written in language understandable to the general public; and

(2) Provided in the native language of the parent or other mode of communication used by the parent, unless it is clearly not feasible to do so.

(c) If the native language or other mode of communication of the parent is not a written language, the SEA or LEA shall take steps to ensure--

(1) That the notice is translated orally or by other means to the parent in his or her native language or other mode of communication;

(2) That the parent understands the content of the notice; and

(3) That there is written evidence that the requirements in paragraphs (c)(1) and (2) of this section have been met.


34 CFR 300.530-300.534

Sec. 300.530 General

(a) Each SEA shall ensure that each public agency establishes and implements procedures that meet the requirements of Secs. 300.530-300.534.

(b) Testing and evaluation materials and procedures used for the purposes of evaluation and placement of children with disabilities must be selected and administered so as not to be racially or culturally discriminatory.

Sec. 300.531 Preplacement evaluation

Before any action is taken with respect to the initial placement of a child with a disability in a program providing special education and related services, a full and individual evaluation of the child's educational needs must be conducted in accordance with the requirements of Sec. 300.532.

Sec. 300.532 Evaluation procedures

State educational agencies and LEAs shall ensure, at a minimum, that:

(a) Tests and other evaluation materials--

(1) Are provided and administered in the child's native language or other mode of communication, unless it is clearly not feasible to do so;

(2) Have been validated for the specific purpose for which they are used; and

(3) Are administered by trained personnel in conformance with the instructions provided by their producer.

(b) Tests and other evaluation materials include those tailored to assess specific areas of educational need and not merely those that are designed to provide a single general intelligence quotient.

(c) Tests are selected and administered so as best to ensure that when a test is administered to a child with impaired sensory, manual, or speaking skills, the test results accurately reflect the child's aptitude or achievement level or whatever other factors the test purports to measure, rather than reflecting the child's impaired sensory, manual, or speaking skills (except where those skills are the factors that the test purports to measure).

(d) No single procedure is used as the sole criterion for determining an appropriate educational program for a child.

(e) The evaluation is made by a multidisciplinary team or group of persons, including at least one teacher or other specialist with knowledge in the area of suspected disability.

(f) The child is assessed in all areas related to the suspected disability, including, if appropriate, health, vision, hearing, social and emotional status, general intelligence, academic performance, communicative status, and motor abilities.

Note: Children who have a speech or language impairment as their primary disability may not need a complete battery of assessments (e.g., psychological, physical, or adaptive behavior).

However, a qualified speech-language pathologist would: (1) Evaluate each child with a speech or language impairment using procedures that are appropriate for the diagnosis and appraisal of speech and language impairments, and (2) if necessary, make referrals for additional assessments needed to make an appropriate placement decision.

Sec. 300.533 Placement procedures

(a) In interpreting evaluation data and in making placement decisions, each public agency shall--

(1) Draw upon information from a variety of sources, including aptitude and achievement tests, teacher recommendations, physical condition, social or cultural background, and adaptive behavior;

(2) Ensure that information obtained from all of these sources is documented and carefully considered;

(3) Ensure that the placement decision is made by a group of persons, including persons knowledgeable about the child, the meaning of the evaluation data, and the placement options; and

(4) Ensure that the placement decision is made in conformity with the LRE rules in Secs. 300.550-300.554.

(b) If a determination is made that a child has a disability and needs special education and related services, an IEP must be developed for the child in accordance with Secs. 300.340-300.350.

Note: Paragraph (a)(1) of this section includes a list of examples of sources that may be used by a public agency in making placement decisions. The agency would not have to use all the sources in every instance. The point of the requirement is to ensure that more than one source is used in interpreting evaluation data and in making placement decisions. For example, while all of the named sources would have to be used for a child whose suspected disability is mental retardation, they would not be necessary for certain other children with disabilities, such as a child who has a severe articulation impairment as his primary disability. For such a child, the speech-language pathologist, in complying with the multiple source requirement, might use: (1) A standardized test of articulation, and (2) observation of the child's articulation behavior in conversational speech.

Sec. 300.534 Reevaluation

Each SEA and LEA shall ensure--

(a) That the IEP of each child with a disability is reviewed in accordance with Secs. 300.340-300.350; and

(b) That an evaluation of the child, based on procedures that meet the requirements of Sec. 300.532, is conducted every three years, or more frequently if conditions warrant, or if the child's parent or teacher requests an evaluation.


Secs. 300.550-300.556

Least Restrictive Environment

Sec. 300.550 General

(a) Each SEA shall ensure that each public agency establishes and implements procedures that meet the requirements of Secs. 300.550-300.556.

(b) Each public agency shall ensure--

(1) That to the maximum extent appropriate, children with disabilities, including children in public or private institutions or other care facilities, are educated with children who are nondisabled; and

(2) That special classes, separate schooling or other removal of children with disabilities from the regular educational environment occurs only when the nature or severity of the disability is such that education in regular classes with the use of supplementary aids and services cannot be achieved satisfactorily.

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1412(5)(B); 1414(a)(1)(C)(iv))

Sec. 300.551 Continuum of alternative placements

(a) Each public agency shall ensure that a continuum of alternative placements is available to meet the needs of children with disabilities for special education and related services.

(b) The continuum required in paragraph (a) of this section must--

(1) Include the alternative placements listed in the definition of special education under Sec. 300.17 (instruction in regular classes, special classes, special schools, home instruction, and instruction in hospitals and institutions); and

(2) Make provision for supplementary services (such as resource room or itinerant instruction) to be provided in conjunction with regular class placement.

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1412(5)(B))

Sec. 300.552 Placements

Each public agency shall ensure that:

(a) The educational placement of each child with a disability--

(1) Is determined at least annually;

(2) Is based on his or her IEP; and

(3) Is as close as possible to the child's home.

(b) The various alternative placements included at Sec. 300.551 are available to the extent necessary to implement the IEP for each child with a disability.

(c) Unless the IEP of a child with a disability requires some other arrangement, the child is educated in the school that he or she would attend if nondisabled.

(d) In selecting the LRE, consideration is given to any potential harmful effect on the child or on the quality of services that he or she needs.

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1412(5)(B))

Note: Sec. 300.552 includes some of the main factors that must be considered in determining the extent to which a child with a disability can be educated with children who are nondisabled.

The overriding rule in this section is that placement decisions must be made on an individual basis. The section also requires each agency to have various alternative placements available in order to ensure that each child with a disability receives an education that is appropriate to his or her individual needs.

The requirements of Sec. 300.552, as well as the other requirements of Secs. 300.550-300.556, apply to all preschool children with disabilities who are entitled to receive FAPE. Public agencies that provide preschool programs for nondisabled preschool children must ensure that the requirements of Sec. 300.552(c) are met. Public agencies that do not operate programs for nondisabled preschool children are not required to initiate such programs solely to satisfy the requirements regarding placement in the LRE embodied in Secs. 300.550-300.556. For these public agencies, some alternative methods for meeting the requirements of Secs. 300.550-300.556 include--

(1) Providing opportunities for the participation (even part-time) of preschool children with disabilities in other preschool programs operated by public agencies (such as Head Start);

(2) Placing children with disabilities in private school programs for nondisabled preschool children or private school preschool programs that integrate children with disabilities and nondisabled children; and

(3) Locating classes for preschool children with disabilities in regular elementary schools.

In each case the public agency must ensure that each child's placement is in the LRE in which the unique needs of that child can be met, based upon the child's IEP, and meets all of the other requirements of Secs. 300.340-300.350 and Secs. 300.550-300.556.

The analysis of the regulations for Sec. 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (34 CFR part 104-Appendix, Paragraph 24) includes several points regarding educational placements of children with disabilities that are pertinent to this section:

1. With respect to determining proper placements, the analysis states: ". . .it should be stressed that, where a handicapped child is so disruptive in a regular classroom that the education of other students is significantly impaired, the needs of the handicapped child cannot be met in that environment. Therefore regular placement would not be appropriate to his or her needs.. . ."

2. With respect to placing a child with a disability in an alternate setting, the analysis states that among the factors to be considered in placing a child is the need to place the child as close to home as possible. Recipients are required to take this factor into account in making placement decisions. The parents' right to challenge the placement of their child extends not only to placement in special classes or separate schools, but also to placement in a distant school, particularly in a residential program. An equally appropriate education program may exist closer to home; and this issue may be raised by the parent under the due process provisions of this subpart.

Sec. 300.553 Nonacademic settings

In providing or arranging for the provision of nonacademic and extracurricular services and activities, including meals, recess periods, and the services and activities set forth in Sec. 300.306, each public agency shall ensure that each child with a disability participates with nondisabled children in those services and activities to the maximum extent appropriate to the needs of that child.

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1412(5)(B))

Note: Sec. 300.553 is taken from a requirement in the final regulations for Sec. 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. With respect to this requirement, the analysis of the Sec. 504 Regulations includes the following statement: "[This paragraph] specifies that handicapped children must also be provided nonacademic services in as integrated a setting as possible. This requirement is especially important for children whose educational needs necessitate their being solely with other handicapped children during most of each day. To the maximum extent appropriate, children in residential settings are also to be provided opportunities for participation with other children." (34 CFR part 104-Appendix, Paragraph 24.)

Sec. 300.554 Children in public or private institutions

Each SEA shall make arrangements with public and private institutions (such as a memorandum of agreement or special implementation procedures) as may be necessary to ensure that Sec. 300.550 is effectively implemented.

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1412(5)(B))

Note: Under Sec. 612(5)(B) of the statute, the requirement to educate children with disabilities with nondisabled children also applies to children in public and private institutions or other care facilities. Each SEA must ensure that each applicable agency and institution in the State implements this requirement.

Regardless of other reasons for institutional placement, no child in an institution who is capable of education in a regular public school setting may be denied access to an education in that setting.

Sec. 300.555 Technical assistance and training activities

Each SEA shall carry out activities to ensure that teachers and administrators in all public agencies--

(a) Are fully informed about their responsibilities for implementing Sec. 300.550; and

(b) Are provided with technical assistance and training necessary to assist them in this effort.

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1412(5)(B))

Sec. 300.556 Monitoring activities

(a) The SEA shall carry out activities to ensure that Sec. 300.550 is implemented by each public agency.

(b) If there is evidence that a public agency makes placements that are inconsistent with Sec. 300.550, the SEA shall--

(1) Review the public agency's justification for its actions; and

(2) Assist in planning and implementing any necessary corrective action.

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1412(5)(B))


34 CFR 300.551

Sec. 300.551 Continuum of alternative placements

(a) Each public agency shall ensure that a continuum of alternative placements is available to meet the needs of children with disabilities for special education and related services.

(b) The continuum required in paragraph (a) of this section must--

(1) Include the alternative placements listed in the definition of special education under Sec. 300.17 (instruction in regular classes, special classes, special schools, home instruction, and instruction in hospitals and institutions); and

(2) Make provision for supplementary services (such as resource room or itinerant instruction) to be provided in conjunction with regular class placement.


34 CFR 300.552

Sec. 300.552 Placements

Each public agency shall ensure that:

(a) The educational placement of each child with a disability--

(1) Is determined at least annually;

(2) Is based on his or her IEP; and

(3) Is as close as possible to the child's home.

(b) The various alternative placements included at Sec. 300.551 are available to the extent necessary to implement the IEP for each child with a disability.

(c) Unless the IEP of a child with a disability requires some other arrangement, the child is educated in the school that he or she would attend if nondisabled.

(d) In selecting the LRE, consideration is given to any potential harmful effect on the child or on the quality of services that he or she needs.

Note: Sec. 300.552 includes some of the main factors that must be considered in determining the extent to which a child with a disability can be educated with children who are nondisabled.

The overriding rule in this section is that placement decisions must be made on an individual basis. The section also requires each agency to have various alternative placements available in order to ensure that each child with a disability receives an education that is appropriate to his or her individual needs.

The requirements of Sec. 300.552, as well as the other requirements of Secs. 300.550-300.556, apply to all preschool children with disabilities who are entitled to receive FAPE. Public agencies that provide preschool programs for nondisabled preschool children must ensure that the requirements of Sec. 300.552(c) are met. Public agencies that do not operate programs for nondisabled preschool children are not required to initiate such programs solely to satisfy the requirements regarding placement in the LRE embodied in Secs. 300.550-300.556. For these public agencies, some alternative methods for meeting the requirements of Secs. 300.550-300.556 include--

(1) Providing opportunities for the participation (even part-time) of preschool children with disabilities in other preschool programs operated by public agencies (such as Head Start);

(2) Placing children with disabilities in private school programs for nondisabled preschool children or private school preschool programs that integrate children with disabilities and nondisabled children; and

(3) Locating classes for preschool children with disabilities in regular elementary schools.

In each case the public agency must ensure that each child's placement is in the LRE in which the unique needs of that child can be met, based upon the child's IEP, and meets all of the other requirements of Secs. 300.340-300.350 and Secs. 300.550-300.556.

The analysis of the regulations for Sec. 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (34 CFR part 104-Appendix, Paragraph 24) includes several points regarding educational placements of children with disabilities that are pertinent to this section:

1. With respect to determining proper placements, the analysis states: ". . .it should be stressed that, where a handicapped child is so disruptive in a regular classroom that the education of other students is significantly impaired, the needs of the handicapped child cannot be met in that environment. Therefore regular placement would not be appropriate to his or her needs.. . ."

2. With respect to placing a child with a disability in an alternate setting, the analysis states that among the factors to be considered in placing a child is the need to place the child as close to home as possible. Recipients are required to take this factor into account in making placement decisions. The parents' right to challenge the placement of their child extends not only to placement in special classes or separate schools, but also to placement in a distant school, particularly in a residential program. An equally appropriate education program may exist closer to home; and this issue may be raised by the parent under the due process provisions of this subpart.


20 U.S.C. sec. 1400(c)

(c) Purpose

It is the purpose of this chapter to assure that all children with disabilities have available to them, within the time periods specified in section 1412(2)(B) of this title, a free appropriate public education which emphasizes special education and related services designed to meet their unique needs, to assure that the rights of children with disabilities and their parents or guardians are protected, to assist States and localities to provide for the education of all children with disabilities, and to assess and assure the effectiveness of efforts to educate children with disabilities.


20 U.S.C. sec. 1401 (18)

(18) The term "free appropriate public education" means special education and related services that - (A) have been provided at public expense, under public supervision and direction, and without charge, (B) meet the standards of the State educational agency, (C) include an appropriate preschool, elementary, or secondary school education in the State involved, and (D) are provided in conformity with the individualized education program required under section 1414(a)(5) of this title


20 U.S.C. sec 1412(2)(B)

(B) a free appropriate public education will be available for all children with disabilities between the ages of three and eighteen within the State not later than September 1, 1978, and for all children with disabilities between the ages of three and twenty-one within the State not later than September 1, 1980, except that, with respect to children with disabilities aged three to five and aged eighteen to twenty-one, inclusive, the requirements of this clause shall not be applied in any State if the application of such requirements would be inconsistent with State law or practice, or the order of any court, respecting public education within such age groups in the State.


20 U.S.C. sec. 1412(5)(B)

(B) procedures to assure that, to the maximum extent appropriate, children with disabilities, including children in public or private institutions or other care facilities, are educated with children who are not disabled, and that special classes, separate schooling, or other removal of children with disabilities from the regular educational environment occurs only when the nature or severity of the disability is such that education in regular classes with the use of supplementary aids and services cannot be achieved satisfactorily.


20 U.S.C. sec. 1414(a)(5)

(5) provide assurances that the local educational agency or intermediate educational unit will establish or revise, whichever is appropriate, an individualized education program for each child with a disability (or, if consistent with State policy and at the discretion of the local educational agency or intermediate educational unit, and with the concurrence of the parents or guardian, an individualized family service plan described in section 1477(d) of this title for each child with a disability aged 3 to 5, inclusive) at the beginning of each school year and will then review and, if appropriate, revise, its provisions periodically, but not less than annually.


20 U.S.C. sec. 1477(d)

1477. Individualized family service plan

(a) Assessment and program development

Each infant or toddler with a disability and the infant's or toddler's family shall receive -

(1) a multidisciplinary assessment of the unique strengths and needs of the infant or toddler and the identification of services appropriate to meet such needs,
(2) a family-directed assessment of the resources, priorities, and concerns of the family and the identification of the supports and services necessary to enhance the family's capacity to meet the developmental needs of their infant or toddler with a disability, and
(3) a written individualized family service plan developed by a multidisciplinary team, including the parent or guardian, as required by subsection (d) of this section.

(b) Periodic review

The individualized family service plan shall be evaluated once a year and the family shall be provided a review of the plan at 6-month intervals (or more often where appropriate based on infant or toddler and family needs).

(c) Promptness after assessment

The individualized family service plan shall be developed within a reasonable time after the assessment required by subsection (a)(1) of this section is completed. With the parent's consent, early intervention services may commence prior to the completion of such assessment.

(d) Content of plan

The individualized family service plan shall be in writing and contain -

(1) a statement of the infant's or toddler's present levels of physical development, cognitive development, communication development, social or emotional development, and adaptive development, based on acceptable objective criteria,
(2) a statement of the family's resources, priorities, and concerns relating to enhancing the development of the family's infant or toddler with a disability,
(3) a statement of the major outcomes expected to be achieved for the infant or toddler and the family, and the criteria, procedures, and timelines used to determine the degree to which progress toward achieving the outcomes is being made and whether modifications or revisions of the outcomes or services are necessary,
(4) a statement of specific early intervention services necessary to meet the unique needs of the infant or toddler and the family, including the frequency, intensity, and the method of delivering services,
(5) a statement of the natural environments in which early intervention services shall appropriately be provided,
(6) the projected dates for initiation of services and the anticipated duration of such services,
(7) the name of the case manager (hereafter in this subchapter referred to as the "service coordinator") from the profession most immediately relevant to the infant's or toddler's or family's needs (or who is otherwise qualified to carry out all applicable responsibilities under this subchapter) who will be responsible for the implementation of the plan and coordination with other agencies and persons, and
(8) the steps to be taken supporting the transition of the toddler with a disability to services provided under subchapter II of this chapter to the extent such services are considered appropriate.

(e) Parental consent

The contents of the individualized family service plan shall be fully explained to the parents or guardian and informed written consent from such parents or guardian shall be obtained prior to the provision of early intervention services described in such plan. If such parents or guardian do not provide such consent with respect to a particular early intervention service, then the early intervention services to which such consent is obtained shall be provided.


Sec. 615 of the Education of the Handicapped Act

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