District Programs and Operational Information » Notice of Disability Rights

Notice of Disability Rights

Students who may require special education are protected by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). All students and other persons with disabilities who are involved with the Punxsutawney Area School District are also protected by two other statutes, regardless of whether they are students receiving special education services. These two statutes are called Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Any person interested in reviewing the federal and state regulations for these statutes may contact Kate Shaffer, Section 504 Coordinator, at (814) 938-3511. Any person desiring to discuss a problem relating to these laws or to register a complaint or grievance under these laws may contact the same person.

The District is committed to nondiscrimination on the basis of disability. The District does not discriminate on the basis of disability in terms of admissions, access, treatment of individuals, or employment. The definition of disability under Section 504 and the ADA includes persons with "physical or mental impairments that substantially limit a major life activity." The definition of disability also protects those who have a record of such impairment or are regarded by the District as having such impairment. The District will identify and evaluate students with disabilities who may need special accommodations in order to receive an appropriate education. The District"s evaluations of students under the IDEA will include consideration of whether a student is eligible for special services under Section 504 or the ADA. If there is a problem or disagreement, the District is interested in resolving it informally and locally. Formal grievance and complaint procedures are also available to all those protected by Section 504 and the ADA. Families who are not satisfied that the District is complying with these statutes with respect to individual student issues have a right to an impartial hearing.

The District will provide reasonable accommodation to each employee and qualified applicant covered by Section 504 or the ADA, unless doing so would impose an undue hardship on the operation of the District"s program. Each of the programs of the District will be readily accessible to individuals with disabilities. The District will furnish auxiliary aids and services to students, employees, parents, and members of the public who have disabilities to the extent necessary for participation in the District"s programs, unless doing so would result in an undue burden on, or a fundamental change in, the program.

Employees with disabilities and members of the public with disabilities may wish to become familiar with these laws. If you would like to discuss a problem that may relate to these laws, or to file a local complaint/grievance under these laws, please contact the district psychologist at 938-5151.