Tolar ISD 504 & Dyslexia Support Services
Section 504 Overview
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is a federal law designed to protect the rights of individuals with disabilities in programs and activities that receive Federal financial assistance from the U.S. Department of Education (ED). Section 504 provides: "No otherwise qualified individual with a disability in the United States . . . shall, solely by reason of her or his disability, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance . . . ."
The Section 504 regulations require a school district to provide a "free appropriate public education" (FAPE) to each qualified student with a disability who is in the school district's jurisdiction, regardless of the nature or severity of the disability. Under Section 504, FAPE consists of the provision of regular or special education and related aids and services designed to meet the student's individual educational needs as adequately as the needs of nondisabled students are met.
Dyslexia OverviewTolar ISD serves students with dyslexia. State regulations, which were first issued in 1992 by the State Board of Education, require school districts to identify dyslexic students and to develop specialized instructional programs for them. Those rules are reviewed periodically, and the school districts receive updated guidelines to implement.After a referral by a classroom teacher and parent permission is obtained, an instructional specialist conducts a variety of tests to gather data on the student’s abilities. Once the testing is complete, a campus committee familiar with the child determines whether the student should be served by the campus dyslexia program. If that determination is made, the group develops a plan tailored specifically to that child and customized according to the grade level and individual needs. Services, which are primarily delivered by the instructional specialist, center on one-on-one tutoring in order to focus on reading, writing, and spelling. The student’s progress in the regular classroom is monitored. In some cases, the child may also be referred for special education services.According to the International Dyslexia Association, the condition is a specific learning disability that is neurological in origin and is characterized by difficulties with accurate word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities. Individuals may struggle with reading, which can impede growth of vocabulary and background knowledge. Many people who suffer with dyslexia are of average or above average intelligence, and, although it is a life-long condition, early identification and proper assistance can enable a child to succeed in school.