When Five Hours Equals Five Days: Bringing Section 504 Education Plans Into the 21st Century

April 9, 2015

According to federal regulations, all students have a right to a free appropriate public education in the most integrated, least restrictive environment appropriate. Discrimination based upon disabilities is a violation of civil rights. An estimated 10.2 million children in the United States have special healthcare needs, accounting for 13.9% of all children. Some students who are medically-fragile receive their educational services from a teacher at home because attending traditional school could exacerbate their medical problems. At least 23,000 students across the country are homebound or hospitalized each school year. This Recent Development explores the need for a re-interpretation of the Section 504 Education Plans and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act as it applies to public education because of the advances in distance-learning technology. This Recent Development argues that medically-fragile students who are homebound long-term should use technology to attend a traditional school class, rather than receive instruction from a teacher personally sent to each student’s home, because of advances in distance-learning technology.