For a child with a disability, there are two paths for accommodations and/or modifications in the public schools in Texas– Section 504 and Special Education.
- Section 504 has a broader definition for the disability term than Special Education.
- Students that take this path typically have fewer needs that would necessitate moving into special education.
- For example, a student with a physical condition requiring the use of a wheelchair might use 504 for accommodations, such as allowing extra time to get to the next class.
- Section 504 is a civil rights law.
- In schools, this tends to be a more flexible option.
- If a student’s disability impacts the school setting to a greater degree, special education is the better option.
- For example, a moderate learning disability might require services that only special education could provide.
- IDEIA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act) governs special education.
- In schools, this tends to be governed by more rigid federal and state regulations.