Webinar Archive: The Power of Section 504

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Conducted December 13, 2006

Please note: This Webinar predates important changes made to Section 504 by the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008, which became effective January 1, 2009. Information on these changes is available in a Webinar presented by the National Center for Learning Disabilities and CHADD available free of charge here.

Eligibility and appropriate placement, special services and special education, transition, FAPE and LRE, behavior plans and manifestation determinations. Section 504 is not just a prescription for accommodations and modifications but protection for the civil and constitutional rights of students with disabilities. Section 504 also applies to those students served by an IEP.

School attorneys and their supporters are actively engaged in teaching administrators, teachers, and principals about limiting the access to Section 504 rights by students with disabilities and their parents. It has become a subjective selection process, whereby inexperienced and unknowledgeable individuals are making decisions about the civil rights of students with disabilities. Severe curtailment of these rights leaves students with an inability to access the curriculum and to receive educational benefit, in other words a potential denial of FAPE.

Those who advocate for students with disabilities, the students themselves, as well as counselors, teachers and parents, need to understand this powerful legislation, especially since it follows students into postsecondary education and employment. And with the reauthorization of IDEA and the focus on limiting access/eligibility to Section 504 we will see many of our students left floundering in the educational system. Students poorly equipped with self-advocacy skills, understanding how they learn, understanding how to leverage their strengths, and acquiring and maintaining employment.

This presentation provides a strong overview of Section 504, its meaning, and its application. Learn the several key strategies for 504 plans and IEPs and understand how to use Section 504 language to preserve the civil and constitutional protections afforded to students with disabilities that impact learning and other major life activities in their K-12 education.


Claudia Lowe, B.S.L., J.D. is an educational strategist and consultant, conflict mediation coach, instructor, and researcher. Her extensive and diverse background, education, and training has assisted her in developing a unique, yet effective approach for helping individuals understand the educational process of IDEA and Section 504. She is founder and director of The Advocacy & Learning Center (TALC) and LEAD Students of America (LSA), bringing her in contact with hundreds of students, parents, teachers, advocates, business leaders, and other professionals. Her expertise is culled from an extensive background in consumer and legal trainings on transition, behavior plans, alternative dispute resolution, disabilities that impact learning, assistive technology, advocacy, Section 504, IDEA, ADA, conflict mediation, and due process rights.

Ms. Lowe has received both her Bachelors of Science in Law and her Doctor of Jurisprudence degrees. She remains current by tracking trends and by updating her skills and knowledge in key legal areas by participating in ongoing professional development programs and ongoing research. She has written about and lectured on issues relating to disabilities, advocacy, assistive technology, transition, educational strategies, and more. She lectures on key educational issues for the continuing education needs of attorneys, administrators, advocates, educators, therapists, counselors, and other professionals.

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