Related Services Under an IEP:
Part B of the IDEA 2004 affords students with disabilities (as defined under the law) ages 3-21 special education and related services to ensure their access, participation, and progress in the general education classroom/curriculum and legal protections for students and their parents. Physical therapists can assist the team in determining initial eligibility for special education or once identified the PPT team can request a physical therapy assessment to determine if a student needs this related service in order to benefit from special education. Also, students transferring into a school system/program with Physical Therapy indicated on a current Individualized Education Program are eligible for services.
Services Under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973:
Students with a disability who do not qualify for services under the IDEA may be eligible for accommodations and services under Section 504, including school physical therapy services. The Section 504 Team conducts an initial evaluation with a student suspected of having a disability. If the team determines the student is a student with a disability and requires accommodations and services to ensure his/her equal opportunity to participate, the team identifies those accommodations and services and how they will be implemented. Physical therapy is one of many related services recognized under Section 504 and can be provided as a sole service, where necessary. In addition to services for the student, school physical therapy services under Section 504 can include consultation with other educational professionals; training for families; and adaptations to different environments within the school (e.g., classroom; cafeteria; playground; restrooms).