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January 26, 2012

Government Ensures Schools Follow ADA

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) made changes to the Act regarding school districts three years ago.  Government representatives want to make sure those changes are properly followed.  The Education Office of Civil Rights wrote a letter to school districts and state educators detailing the procedures they must abide to under the ADA.

The changes to the ADA expanded the meaning of physical/mental challenges.  It also asked school district to make modified evaluations easier.  Students could be eligible for services even if they have a condition harder to diagnose like bipolar disorder.

“We must continue to take steps to enable every child, regardless of disability, to reach their full potential,” Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said. “This guidance reiterates the department’s commitment to ensure that educational opportunity is provided free from disability discrimination.”

These changes have been in the ADA for three years.  However, many school districts don’t abide by them.  Federal representatives state they are offering technical guidance and instating harsher punishment for those that don’t follow ADA rules.

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