Handicapped students can benefit from technological advancement


As there is vast need for authentic information on the facilities available to handicapped students, we endeavor to continue the info-tips on this subject, while bringing out legal options, for this purpose.

  • Legal definition of section 504 students

For the benefit of such students and others, section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 along with the Title 2nd of ADA (Americans and Disabilities Act) states in strong terms that there should be no discrimination of disabled individuals by the federal or state as well as local governments, or by the business houses who receive government funding.

Section 504 further ensures that all disabled students shall have same opportunities to study and succeed as other students. There are various examples to specify the advantages of this act for the disabled students. For one example, if a student has trouble in reading ,or for a blind student taking an exam, it is the responsibility of the university or the exam taking authority to provide alternative forms of the book or the question paper, that may include the Braille version of same.

Any person, including handicapped students, having following impairments would be eligible for Section 504 benefits:

* .Any person who has substantial physical or mental disability that limits any of the major life activities, including walking, hearing, seeing, speaking, learning or breathing etc can have 504 benefits.

* Anyone who has a record of such disability is eligible.

* A student who possesses the required educational qualification and technical standards required for the admission to a certain educational program.

  • Accommodation for 504 students

Students who are in-home education programs can select FCAT as a required assessment with the allowed accommodations. If the student uses any accommodation on regular basis, then the student needs to make a request to the school district for that particular accommodation on the FCAT. While the student will be administered FCAT in the student’s home school, the request for any accommodation has to come from the parents and that should be in line with the accommodations used during instruction.

In case a student uses a computer to type a response, then such typed responses must be transferred and the typed sheets returned tom the district coordinator. Transferring can be done by the school personnel and verified by the FCAT agent.

While normal students may not be allowed to read a question loudly in an examination hall, section 504 entitled handicapped students are allowed to do the same, for apprehending and understanding the question properly. However, such accommodation may require the student to e tested in a different setting that does not disturb the other students. While the answers transferred, have to fit in the space allowed in the answer sheets, special papers like large writing sheets can be provided if the disability prevents the student from writing on a normal size paper.

However, the technologies of the computer software that has the spell and grammar checker are not allowed to be used by such students. Nevertheless, it is not important for such students to be good in spelling.

While the accommodations cited above may be listed among the accommodations permitted for ESE students, there is a need to specify the accommodation. Handicapped students can also refer to other publications on the subject, while they may look at other topics, for gaining knowledge on varied issues.



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