Section 504 field trip participation

Tags Section504


Individualize decisions about field trip participation


OCR explained that before excluding a student with a disability from a field trip, a student’s 504 or IEP team must demonstrate that even with the provision of accommodations, the student isn’t qualified to participate, that providing the accommodations would result in an undue burden, or that the field trip is otherwise inappropriate to the child’s needs. Consider the following tips:

  • Make a team-based decision. The decision should be made for each student based on the student’s individualized needs and in the context of a 504 or IEP team meeting with the parent participating.

  • Consider accommodations. Work with the team to identify reasonable accommodations that would enable the student to participate safely. If the student requires, for example, the support of an aide to facilitate his participation, the district must provide the aide at no cost to the parent. Although a district isn’t required to provide an accommodation that would constitute an undue burden or that would fundamentally alter the nature of the services, program, or activity (28 CFR 35.130(b)(7)), the mere fact that an accommodation will increase costs doesn’t make it unduly burdensome.

  • Don’t put the onus on parents to show the child can participate. Requiring parents to affirmatively demonstrate that a trip is appropriate to the student’s needs as a condition of participating contravenes Section 504. Rather, the district may bar a qualified student from the trip because of disability-related characteristics or behavior only if the IEP or 504 team has determined that the student cannot participate successfully with the provision of reasonable accommodations.

  • Don’t compel parents to attend. It’s OK to invite the parent of a student with a disability to join the trip. It’s not OK to condition the child’s participation on the parent accompanying him.


Article ID: 57705
Wed 7/18/18 12:27 PM
Mon 3/2/20 8:14 AM