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Who is eligible for special education and related services?

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Updated: 4/13/2007 6:36 pm
A child between the ages of six and twenty-one may qualify for special education and related services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, if the child has mental retardation; hearing impairment, including deafness; speech or language impairment; visual impairment, including blindness; serious emotional disturbance; orthopedic impairment; autism; traumatic brain injury; other health impairments; or specific learning disabilities. A child between the ages of three and five who is experiencing developmental delays may qualify for special education and related services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Such developmental delay must be shown in physical, cognitive communication and social, emotional, or adaptive development. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act prohibits school districts from discriminating against students with disabilities even if those students do not qualify for special education services under the Individuals with Disabilities Act. Under Section 504, an 'individual with a disability' is defined as a person who has a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities, such as learning, has a record of such an impairment, or is regarded as having such an impairment. An evaluation is conducted in order to determine a child's eligibility to receive special education and related services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and Section 504. Parental consent is required before such an evaluation can be conducted. If you have questions regarding a child's eligibility for special education and related services, please contact an experienced attorney.
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