The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is the federal law that secures special education services for children with disabilities from the time they are born until they graduate from high school or reach the age of 21, whichever a student reaches first. Ld Online provides a copy of IDEA which is formatted in a way that makes the law more accessible. The document can be found at:
Section 504 is a federal law designed to protect the rights of individuals with disabilities in programs and activities that receive Federal financial assistance from the U.S. Department of Education (ED). Section 504 provides: "No otherwise qualified individual with a disability in the United States . . . shall, solely by reason of her or his disability, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance . . . ."
In language that is accessible to parents, the Office of Civil Rights, the government agency responsible for enforcing Section 504, answers Frequently Asked Questions About Section 504 and the Education of Children with Disabilities. The document can be found at: http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/504faq.html
Understanding your rights under IDEA as compared to Section 504 can be complicated. The document: Understanding the Differences Between IDEA and Section 504 helps you distinguish their purposes, scope of the laws and the type of services available under each law. The document can be found at:
New York State Law
New York State has additional laws that implement IDEA and other Federal regulations. New York has generally made more services available than required by IDEA. Understanding your rights under the law is complicated and is interpreted through case law. The link below is provided as a reference to understanding the rights of students with disabilities under state law.
Local Regulations, Policies and Practices
The Chancellor’s Regulations are local regulations applicable to students attending a public school in New York City. Certain regulations pertain to students with disabilities and include: Regulation A-420, A-443, A-501, A-710 and A-715. The Regulations may be found at:
A copy in Spanish may be found at:
Citywide Standards of Discipline and Intervention Measures (the Discipline Code) provides a comprehensive description of unacceptable behavior. The Discipline Code covers the range of permissible disciplinary and intervention measures with may be used when students engage in such behaviors as well as a range of guidance interventions schools may use to address student behavior. The Code applies to all students, including those with disabilities. The document also includes the Student’s Bill of Rights and Responsibilities.
The NYC Standard Operating Procedures Manual (SOPM) serves as a comprehensive guide to the referral, evaluation, and placement processes for school-age students suspected of having a disability and those who are already identified. The purpose of this Standard Operating Procedures Manual (SOPM) is to provide support and guidance to the management and staff of the New York City Department of Education. It does not create any enforceable rights, remedies, entitlements or obligations.