Section 504 Coordinators Institute

Registration is now closed.

If you are a school district Section 504 coordinator or otherwise have an interest in Section 504 and the ADA, consider this two-day option that is available at a reduced price (June 27-28, 2019). The topics and presenters include:

Thursday AM

Avoiding the Under- and Over-Identifying of 504-Only students: Pitfalls and Handholds NEW


Dr. Perry Zirkel (University Professor Emeritus of Education and Law, Lehigh University), presenter

The first part of this session will review the notable frequency among public schools in many states of under- and over-identifying students for 504 plans and the problems with these false negatives and false positives. False negatives constitute civil rights violations for which school districts are ethically responsible and legally vulnerable, and false positives, while not legally prohibited, raise questions of resource equity and efficiency.

The second and main part of the session will provide practical pointers for more accurate identification of 504-only students and specifically for each of the two extremes. The recommendations address various major factors, including the role of the 504 coordinator, medical diagnoses, mitigating measures, the SAT and ACT, individual health plans, and teacher/student implementation.

Thursday PM

Money Damages under Section 504 and the ADA: Current Case Law Trends NEW

Julie Weatherly (Alabama school attorney), presenter

Gina DeCrescenzo (New York parent attorney), reactor

This session will canvass the current state of judicial case law in which parents (or other plaintiffs) seek to recover money damages for alleged violations of Section 504 and/or the ADA in the K-12 context. First, this presentation will identify the applicable framework for Section 504/ADA claims, consisting of (a) the requisite initial elements, such as the disability qualification and connection, and (b) the competing intent-type standards for monetary liability, such as deliberate indifference. Second, the presentation will highlight current case law trends in applying this framework to significant K-12 issues, such as the use of restraint/seclusion; disability harassment/bullying; retaliation; and service animals.

Friday AM

Section 504 Nuts and Bolts: Getting Down to Brass Tacks


Lisa Hardcastle (Section 504 coordinator, Clear Creek Independent School District, Texas), presenter

This session will address practical issues for both new and experienced 504 coordinators. It will provide useful procedures, forms, and strategies for effectively implementing Section 504 in compliance with the applicable Section 504 and ADA regulations. We will do so via real-life scenarios which illustrate the application of this practical information. The issues include Section 504 grievance procedures and procedural safeguards notices; child find obligations; eligibility evaluations and determinations; 504 plans and FAPE requirements; discipline issues; and dealing with OCR complaints. Come join us to share best practice across a wide variety of jurisdictions. 

Friday PM

Pulling Together the Strands of Section 504 Implementation: An Informal Discussion with Colleagues

Lisa Hardcastle, moderator

Has your school district implemented a process that holds promise for increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of your district’s compliance with Section 504 and the ADA? Conversely, are there challenges that you face in your daily work with Section 504 that would benefit from learning promising practices from other school districts? This interactive session will provide a comfortable, direct opportunity for Section 504 coordinators to share positive experiences as well as concerns with each other. The culminating session will also be a forum to raise and answer any questions relevant to Section 504 that arose during the Thursday and earlier Friday sessions.


Next step: If you are interested in registering for the Section 504 Coordinators Institute component (Thursday/Friday) or for the entire week, including the Section 504 Coordinators Institute, please Register. This “Special Education Symposium” registration page provides an option for the two-day Section 504 Coordinators Institute, as well as week-long, or daily symposium attendance. If you wish to attend the Section 504 Coordinators Institute for one day only, choose the daily symposium option for either Thursday or Friday. Registrants experiencing difficulty in registering for multiple days, please email or call 610-758-5557 for assistance.