504 Plans in Ohio

Instructor: Marissa Baranauskas
Ohio has several legislative measures in place that should be taken into consideration when developing 504 plans for students who attend public and private schools in the state. Learn about the specific codes and standards that have been put in place for students with disabilities.

504 Plans in Ohio

Section 504 of the federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973 stipulates that schools can't discriminate against disabled students. In addition to conforming to federal standards outlined in Section 504, educational facilitators must also abide by several Ohio state laws when creating 504 plans for students with disabilities. Any public or private school that receives federal funding is required to follow these stipulations.

Alternative Assessments - Administrative Code

Section 3301-13 of the Ohio Administrative Code allows students who have met disability criteria to take an alternative test for Ohio statewide proficiency assessments. These statewide assessments are designed to measure students' progress at certain grade levels and include:

  • Ohio Achievement Test (OAT) for grades 3-8
  • Ohio Graduation Test (OGT)
  • Ohio Test of English Language Acquisition (OTELA)
  • Diagnostic Assessments for grades K-3
  • Kindergarten Readiness Assessment - Literacy (KRA-L)

It further specifies that the alternative statewide assessment option is only reserved for students who have severely limiting cognitive disabilities and whose needs cannot be met with state-approved accommodations. The Alternate Assessment for Students with Significant Cognitive Disabilities (AASCD) is an option that is approved by Ohio's Department of Education that can be included in the 504 plan. Section 504 students need to have their testing methods documented in the 504 plan and/or their Individual Education Plan (IEP), whether they take a standard exam or an alternative assessment.

Alternative Assessments - Ohio Revised Code

Section 3301.0711 of the Ohio Revised Code says that all students are required to take a standard or alternative form of the statewide assessments. Very few exceptions are allowed in cases where reasonable accommodations for a disabled student aren't possible. In order for a student to be eligible to take an alternative assessment, the 504 plan must include the reasons why they are unable to take the regular statewide assessment either with or without accommodations.

Charter School Exceptions

Section 504 provisions are required for students of federally funded public and private schools. However, disabled students whose parents have enrolled them in a non-public charter school may also fall under chapter 3301-13 whether federal funds are received or not. Additional restrictions apply, such as the extent of a student's disability and whether any federal funds don't meet the assessment needs of the student. Under this code, the 504 plan must include a summary of student needs, parent involvement and approval, and a statement with reasons for alternative assessment.

Ohio Academic Content Standards - Extended (OACS-E)

The OACS-E provide a set of standards that are used to ensure that classroom instruction of a disabled student is provided at a level that matches Ohio's Learning Standards. These standards are intended for students who are taking an AASCD. Specific content standards are measured by grade level and subject, and the types of AASCD assessments administered depends on grade level:

Grade LevelsRequired Assessment Subjects
Grades 3 and 7 English Language Arts
Grades 4 and 6 English Language Arts
Social Studies
Grades 5 and 8 English Language Arts
Grades 9 through 12English Language Arts
Social Studies

Educational Resources

There are several resources available to help parents and teachers assess students' learning disabilities, adapt classroom and learning environments to accommodate all students, and build skills for teaching students with learning disabilities. These comprehensive resources provide skills-building, informational and practical instruction teachers can use to adapt their teaching methods for students with learning disabilities and special needs.

In addition to these helpful and informative assets, teachers and parents can browse the course library for courses in math, reading, writing, science, social studies and more at every grade level. The courses can provide an excellent option for students who need alternative learning methods, since they combine technology, video and brevity in to each lesson. Short assessments are also included at the lesson, chapter and course levels to gauge students' understanding of the concepts.

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