Impairments in Remission

The key here is whether the impairment in remission was substantially limiting when active. That question requires the Section 504 team to look back to the time when the impairment was not in remission (as opposed to looking at current data) to make the disability determination. Of course, if the school does not suspect that the student is disabled (and does not know of any impairment in remission) or the student does not demonstrate a need for services, the Section 504 duty to evaluate would not seem to apply, and evaluation would only have to be considered based on a parent referral. Talk with your school board attorney about how to appropriately address child find and evaluation duties for students with impairments in remission.

Historically, OCR has rejected the notion of Section 504 plans for students with records of impairment (Prong Two) or students regarded as impaired (Prong Three). Using these prongs is most often useful in the areas of employment and postsecondary education and apply primarily to discrimination on the basis of a record of an impairment or on the basis of the school’s “regard” of someone as being impaired. It is rare for these prongs to be used in elementary and secondary student education cases. They cannot be the basis upon which the requirement for FAPE is triggered.