Related Services in Schools

P&A Fact Sheet

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) of 2004 requires schools provide Related Services to a student with a disability who needs them in order to benefit from the education being offered. The following is a list of related services that may help your child, but remember:

  1.  Not every service must be provided for every student. The student must NEED the service in order to benefit from his or her education program.
  2.  Not every service a student may need is listed. Other services can be provided if they are required to assist the student with a disability to benefit from his or her education. (The “I” in IEP is for individualized.)

List of related services

Note: If the IEP Team decides that related service or services are needed in order for the student to benefit from his/her educational program, the services must be included on the IEP document. Services are to be provided at no cost to the parent.

Note: IDEA also requires schools provide a student with assistive technology (AT) devices and services if they will help the student improve functional capabilities. AT can include computers and communication devices, (AT does not include surgically implanted devices). An IEP can allow a student to take his or her AT device home from school if it is needed for educational purposes. This could be a computer to do homework.

Related Services Under Section 504

Section 504 says that related services are a part of an appropriate education. Unfortunately, Section 504 does not list specific types or categories of related services. However (similar to IDEA 2004) it does state that related services should be provided at no cost to the student with a disability or the student’s parents. In addition, the education and related services for a child with a disability should be designed to meet that child’s individual educational needs as adequately as the services meet the needs of a child without a disability.

Advocacy Tips

Sources for the information in this Fact Sheet:
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act 2004, 20 USC §1401 (1), (2) and (26)
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act 1997 and 34 CRF Part 300.24
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and 34 CFR 104.33(b)
South Carolina Department of Education Regulation R 43-243 (B)(26)

This publication provides legal information, but is not intended to be legal advice. The information was based on the law at the time it was written. As the law may change, please contact P&A for updates.
This publication is funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (Administration on Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration), and by the U. S. Department of Education (Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Research). It does not necessarily represent the official
views of the funding authorities.
P&A does not discriminate on the basis of disability, race, gender, or national origin in the provision of its programs or services. Pete Cantrell is P&A’s designated coordinator for Sec. 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act. November 2005. ED-12

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