504 Student / ADA Grievance Procedures

Gil Webb, Perry County Coordinator

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Reviewed: Annually, in September

1.802 of Perry County School Board Policy

The Board is committed to maintaining equitable employment/educational practices, services, programs

and activities that are accessible and usable by qualified individuals with disabilities.


Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 provides that: No otherwise qualified individual with

handicaps in the United States...solely by reason of his/her handicap, 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.1

Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, 1990 provides that: No otherwise qualified individual with

a disability shall be discriminated against in regard to job application procedures, the hiring, advancement,

or discharge of employees, employee compensation, job training and other terms, conditions and

privileges of employment.2


The Board shall designate at least one employee to coordinate its efforts to comply with and carry out

its responsibilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504, including any

investigation of any complaint alleging non-compliance with the Acts or alleging any actions that

would be prohibited by the Acts.


The Board shall make available the name, office address and telephone number of the ADA/Section

504 coordinator.

Methods of initial and continuing notification may include the posting of notices, publication in newspapers

and student and employee handbooks and distribution of memorandum or other written communications.


The coordinator will hear ADA/Section 504 complaints. Complaints shall be submitted orally or in writing to the

coordinator who will endeavor to accomplish prompt and equitable resolution of complaints alleging any

action that would be prohibited by the ADA/Section 504. The coordinator will respond to all complaints

within twenty (20) days with a written response as well as information on further grievance procedures

that may be followed if the complaining party is not satisfied with the coordinator's proposed resolution.

Section 504 and ADA

Grievance Procedures


Review: Annually,

in September

Tennessee School Boards Association


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Section 504/ADA 1.802


Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 provides the right to an impartial due process hearing if a

parent wishes to contest any action of the school system with regard to a child’s identification, evaluation,

and placement under Section 504.6 If a parent/guardian requests a Section 504 hearing, the parent/

guardian has the right to personally participate and to be represented at the hearing by an attorney or

advocate at the parent’s expense. Contested actions or omissions that are appropriate for a Section 504

hearing should involve identification, evaluation, or placement issues involving a child who has or is

believed to have a disability.

Written Request for Hearing

A parent/guardian who wishes to challenge an action or omission with regard to the identification,

evaluation, or placement of a student who has or is believed to have a disability as defined by Section

504, shall make a written request for a due process hearing to the Section 504 coordinator. The written

request must be made on a form provided through the Central Office.

Impartial Hearing Officer

The director of schools or his/her designee shall appoint an impartial hearing officer to preside over

the hearing and issue a decision. Such appointment will be made within fifteen (15) days of the date

of receipt of a request for a due process hearing. The hearing officer will be hired as an independent

contractor at no expense to the parent. The hearing officer that is appointed shall not be a current employee

of the school system and shall not be related to any member of the Board of Education. The

hearing officer need not be an attorney but shall be familiar with the requirements of Section 504 and

the hearing procedures under Section 504. The choice of an impartial hearing officer is final and may

not be presented as an issue at the due process hearing since such an issue would not relate to the identification,

evaluation, or placement of a disabled child under Section 504. If a parent/guardian disputes

the impartiality of the appointed hearing officer, he/she may raise such issue in a review of the hearing

officer’s opinion by a court of competent jurisdiction or in a complaint to the Office for Civil Rights.

Office for Civil Rights

U.S. Department of Education

61 Forsyth St. S.W., Suite 19T10

Atlanta, GA 30303-8927

Telephone: 404-974-9406; TDD: 877-521-2172

Email: OCR.Atlanta@ed.gov

Scheduling of Hearing

The appointed hearing officer shall set a date for the hearing within fifteen (15) days of his/her appointment

and provide this information in writing to the parent/guardian and the Section 504 coordinator.

The hearing shall take place at a mutually agreeable time and place.

Page 3 of 4

Section 504/ADA 1.802


Upon a showing of good cause, the hearing officer, at his/her discretion may grant a continuance of the

hearing date and set a new hearing date.

Legal Representation at Hearing

If a parent/guardian is represented by a licensed attorney at the due process hearing, he/she must inform

the Section 504 coordinator and the appointed hearing officer of that fact, in writing, at least seven (7)

calendar days prior to the hearing date, or the hearing can be continued upon the coordinator’s request.

The school system shall not have legal representation at the hearing unless the parent provides notice

that he/she will have legal representation.

Pre-Hearing Conference

The hearing officer may order a Pre-Hearing Conference during which the parent/guardian or his/her

representative will state and clarify the issues to be addressed at the hearing. The Pre-Hearing Conference

will also serve to resolve preliminary matters, clarify jurisdictional issues, and answer the parties’

questions regarding the hearing process. The Pre-Hearing Conference can be held via telephone or in

person depending on the hearing officer’s decision based on the convenience to both parties.


If, after the Pre-Hearing Conference, the hearing officer finds that the parent, as a matter of law, alleges

and/or raises no factual claims or legal issues that come within his/her jurisdiction as a Section 504

hearing officer, he/she may dismiss the hearing and issue an order to that effect explaining the basis for

such finding.


The hearing shall be conducted in an informal, non-adversarial manner. The hearing shall be closed

to the public unless the parent/guardian requests an open hearing. The hearing officer may reasonably

limit testimony and introduction of exhibits for reasons or relevance.


Instead of a formal written transcript produced by a court reporter, the entire due process hearing will

be video recorded. The school system shall provide a copy of the recording to the parent/guardian upon

request. In order for an accurate recording to be made, the parties and witnesses shall introduce themselves

at the beginning of their presentations. If a parent/guardian appeals the decision of the hearing

officer to a court of competent jurisdiction, the school system shall prepare a written transcript of the

hearing to be offered to the court as an exhibit.


Witnesses will present their information in narrative form, without the traditional question and answer

format of legal proceedings. Cross-examination of witnesses will not be allowed, but a party may request

that the hearing officer, at his/her discretion, ask a witness a certain question.

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Section 504/ADA 1.802

Format of Presentation

Each side will have an equal amount of time to present their positions as determined by the hearing

offi cer. The parent/guardian will present his/her case first by making an opening statement outlining the

issues, calling witnesses, and making a closing argument. The school system will present its side next.

At the end of the school system’s presentation, the parent/guardian may offer a short response. Each

side may present personally or through their representatives.

Submission of Exhibits

As part of their presentations and at the discretion of the hearing officer, the parties may submit any

reports, evaluations, correspondence, notes, or any other documents that may support their positions.

Exhibits submitted to the hearing offi cer by either party must be marked. The hearing officer may, in

the exercise of his/her discretion, reasonably limit the number of documents to be submitted for his/her

review, as well as the number of witnesses and the length and/or scope of their presentations or statements.

Closing Arguments

The hearing officer may allow or request written closing arguments summarizing and characterizing the

information presented at the hearing.


The hearing officer may make an oral ruling at the conclusion of the hearing or take the case under

advisement and issue a written opinion. Such decision shall address all of the issues raised by the parent/

guardian as well as any corrective actions, if any, the school system must take. Any issue or claim

raised by the parent/guardian that is left unaddressed by the hearing officer in his/her decision will be

deemed to have been denied. The decision must be issued within forty-five (45) days after the date

the Request for a Due Process Hearing is received by the district. The hearing officer may not award

attorneys’ fees as a part of the relief granted to a parent/guardian or the district.

Review Procedure/Appeal

If the parent/guardian is not satisfied by the decision of the hearing officer, he/she may seek review of

the decision in a court of competent jurisdiction.


Legal Reference:

1. 34 CFR § 104.4(a)

2. 42 USCA §12112(a)

3. 28 CFR § 35.107

4. 28 CFR § 35.106; 34 CFR § 104.8

5. 28 CFR § 35.170;172

6. 34 CFR §104.36