U.S. Code of Federal Regulations
Regulations most recently checked for updates: Oct 07, 2022
Except as otherwise noted, this subpart applies to public and private schools, elementary, secondary, adult, and extension education programs or activities that receive Federal financial assistance provided by the Department of Agriculture after the effective date of this part and to recipients that operate, or that receive Federal financial assistance for the operation of, such programs or activities.
A recipient that operates a public elementary or secondary education program or activity shall annually:
(a) Undertake to identify and locate every qualified handicapped person residing in the recipient's jurisdiction who is not receiving a public education; and
(b) Take appropriate steps to notify handicapped persons and their parents or guardians of the recipient's duty under this subpart.
(a) General. A recipient that operates a public elementary or secondary education program or activity shall provide a free appropriate public education to each qualified handicapped person who is in the recipient's jurisdiction, regardless of the nature or severity of the person's handicap.
(b) Appropriate education. (1) For the purpose of this subpart, the provision of an appropriate education is the provision of regular or special education and related aids and services that (i) are designed to meet individual educational needs of handicapped persons as adequately as the needs of nonhandicapped persons are met and (ii) are based upon adherence to procedures that satisfy the requirements of §§ 15b.23, 15b.24, and ;15b.25.
(2) Implementation of an Individualized Education Program developed in accordance with the Education of the Handicapped Act is one means of meeting the standard established in paragraph (b)(1)(i) of this section.
(3) A recipient may place a handicapped person or refer such person for aid, benefits, or services other than those that it operates or provides as its means of carrying out the requirements of this subpart. If so, the recipient remains responsible for ensuring that the requirements of this subpart are met with respect to any handicapped person so placed or referred.
(c) Free education - (1) General. For the purpose of this section, the provision of a free education is the provision of educational and related services without cost to handicapped persons or their parents or guardians, except for those fees that are imposed on nonhandicapped persons or their parents or guardians. It may consist either of the provision of free services or, if a recipient places a handicapped person in or refers such person for aid, benefits, or services not operated or provided by the recipient as its means of carrying out the requirements of this subpart, payment for the costs of the aid, benefits, or services. Funds available from any public or private agency may be used to meet the requirements of this subpart. Nothing in this section shall be construed to relieve an insurer or similar third party from an otherwise valid obligation to provide or pay for services provided to a handicapped person.
(2) Transportation. If a recipient places a handicapped person or refers such person for aid, benefits, or services not operated or provided by the recipient as its means of carrying out the requirements of this subpart, the recipient shall ensure that adequate transportation to and from aid, benefits, or services is provided at no greater cost than would be incurred by the person or his or her parents or guardian if the person were placed in the program operated by the recipient.
(3) Residential placement. If a public or private residential placement is necessary to provide a free appropriate public education to a handicapped person because of their handicap, the placement, including nonmedical care and room and board, shall be provided at no cost to the person or his or her parents or guardian.
(4) Placement of handicapped persons by parents. If a recipient has made available in conformance with the requirements of this section and § 15b.23, a free appropriate public education to a handicapped person and the person's parents or guardian choose to place the person in a private school, the recipient is not required to pay for the person's education in the private school. Disagreements between a parent or guardian and a recipient regarding whether the recipient has made a free appropriate education available or otherwise regarding the question of financial responsibility are subject to the due process procedures of § 15b.25.
(d) Compliance. A recipient may not exclude any qualified handicapped person from a public elementary or secondary education after the effective date of this regulation. A recipient that is not, on the effective date of this regulation, in full compliance with the other requirements of the preceding paragraphs of this section shall meet such requirements at the earliest practicable time but in no event later than September 1, 1982.
(a) Academic setting. A recipient to which this subpart applies shall educate, or shall provide for the education of each qualified handicapped person in its jurisdiction with persons who are not handicapped to the maximum extent appropriate to the needs of the handicapped person. A recipient shall place a handicapped person in the regular educational environment operated by the recipient unless it is demonstrated by the recipient that the education of the person in the regular environment with the use of supplementary aids and services cannot be achieved satisfactorily. Whenever a recipient places a person in a setting other than the regular educational environment pursuant to this paragraph, it shall take into account the proximity of the alternate setting to the person's home.
(b) Nonacademic setting. In providing or arranging for the provision of nonacademic and extracurricular services and activities, including meals, recess periods, and the services and activities set forth in § 15b.26(a)(2), a recipient shall ensure that handicapped persons participate with nonhandicapped persons in such activities and services to the maximum extent appropriate to the needs of the handicapped person in question.
(c) Comparable facilities. If a recipient, in compliance with paragraph (a) of this section, operates a facility that is identifiable as being for handicapped persons, the recipient shall ensure that the facility and the services and activities provided therein are comparable to the other facilities, services, and activities of the recipient.
(a) Placement evaluation. A recipient that operates a public elementary or secondary education program or activity shall conduct an evaluation in accordance with the requirements of paragraph (b) of this section of any person who, because of handicap, needs or is believed to need special education or related services before taking any action with respect to the initial placement of the person in regular or special education and any subsequent significant change in placement.
(b) Evaluation procedures. A recipient to which this section applies shall establish standards and procedures for the evaluation and placement of persons who, because of handicap, need or are believed to need special education or related services which ensure that:
(1) Tests and other evaluation materials have been validated for the specific purpose for which they are used and are administered by trained personnel in conformance with the instructions provided by their producer;
(2) Tests and other evaluation materials include those tailored to assess specific areas of educational need and not merely those which are designed to provide a single general intelligence quotient; and
(3) Tests are selected and administered so as best to ensure that, when a test is administered to a student with impaired sensory, manual, or speaking skills, the test results accurately reflect the student's aptitude or achievement level or whatever other factor the test purports to measure, rather than reflecting the student's impaired sensory, manual or speaking skills (except where those skills are the factors that the test purports to measure).
(c) Placement procedures. In interpreting evaluation data and in making placement decisions, a recipient shall (1) draw upon information from a variety of sources, including aptitude and achievement tests, teacher recommendations, physical conditions, social or cultural background, and adaptive behavior, (2) establish procedures to ensure that information obtained from all such sources is documented and carefully considered, (3) ensure that the placement decision is made by a group of persons, including persons knowledgeable about the child, the meaning of the evaluation data, and the placement options, and (4) ensure that the placement decision is made in conformity with § 15b.23.
(d) Reevaluation. A recipient to which this section applies shall establish procedures, in accordance with paragraph (b) of this section, for periodic reevaluation of students who have been provided special education and related services. A reevaluation procedure consistent with the Education for the Handicapped Act is one means of meeting this requirement.
A recipient that provides a public elementary or secondary education shall establish and implement, with respect to action regarding the identification, evaluation, or educational placement of persons who, because of handicap, need or are believed to need special instruction or related services, a system of procedural safeguards that includes notice, an opportunity for the parents or guardian of the person to examine relevant records, an impartial hearing with opportunity for participation by the person's parents or guardian and representation by counsel, and a review procedure. Compliance with the procedural safeguards of section 615 of the Education of the Handicapped Act is one means of meeting this requirement.
(a) General. (1) Recipients to which this subpart applies shall provide nonacademic and extracurricular services and activities in such a manner as is necessary to afford handicapped students an equal opportunity for participation in such services and activities.
(2) Nonacademic and extracurricular services and activities may include counseling services, physical education and athletics, food services, transportation, health services, recreational activities, special interest groups or clubs sponsored by the recipient, referrals to agencies which provide assistance to handicapped persons, and assistance in obtaining outside employment.
(b) Counseling services. A recipient to which this subpart applies that provides personal, academic, or vocational counseling, guidance, or placement services to its students shall provide these services without discrimination on the basis of handicap. The recipient shall ensure that qualified handicapped students are not counseled toward more restrictive career objectives than are nonhandicapped students with similar interests and abilities.
(c) Physical education and athletics. (1) In providing physical education courses and athletics and similar aid, benefits, and services to any of its students, a recipient to which this subpart applies may not discriminate on the basis of handicap. A recipient that offers physical education courses or that operates or sponsors interscholastic, club, or intramural athletics shall provide to qualified handicapped students an equal opportunity for participation.
(2) A recipient may offer handicapped students physical education and athletic activities that are separate or different from those offered to nonhandicapped students only if separation or differentiation is consistent with requirements of § 15b.23, and only if no qualified handicapped student is denied the opportunity to compete for teams or to participate in courses that are not separate or different.
(d) Food services. In providing food services to any of its students, a recipient to which this subpart applies may not discriminate on the basis of handicap. (1) Recipients shall serve special meals, at no extra charge, to students whose handicap restricts their diet. Recipients may require students to provide medical certification that special meals are needed because of their handicap.
(2) Where existing food service facilities are not completely accessible and usable, recipients may provide aides or use other equally effective methods to serve food to handicapped persons. Recipients shall provide all food services in the most intergrated setting appropriate to the needs of handicapped persons as required by § 15b.23(b).
(a) General. A recipient to which this subpart applies that provides extension education may not, on the basis of handicap, exclude qualified handicapped persons. A recipient shall take into account the needs of such persons in determining the benefits or services to be provided.
(b) Delivery sites. (1) Where existing extension office facilities are inaccessible, recipients may make aid, benefits, or services normally provided at those sites available to qualified handicapped persons through other methods which are equally effective. These methods may include meetings in accessible locations, home visits, written or telephonic communications, and other equally effective alternatives.
(2) For aid, benefits, or services delivered at other publicly-owned facilities, recipients shall select accessible facilities wherever possible. If accessible facilities cannot be selected because they are unavailable or infeasible due to the nature of the activity, recipients shall use other methods to deliver aid, benefits, or services to qualified handicapped persons. These methods may include the redesign of activities or some sessions of activities, the provision of aides, home visits, or other equally effective alternatives.
(3) For aid, benefits, or services delivered at privately-owned facilities, such as homes and farm buildings, recipients shall use accessible facilities whenever qualified handicapped persons requiring such accessibility are participating, have expressed an interest in participating, or are likely to participate. If accessible facilities cannot be selected because they are unavailable or infeasible due to the nature of the activity, recipients shall use other methods to deliver aid, benefits, or services to qualified handicapped persons. These methods may include the redesign of activities or some sessions of activities, the provision of aides, home visits, or other equally effective alternatives.
(4) Recipients shall make camping activities accessible to qualified handicapped persons. Recipients are not required to make every existing camp, all existing camp facilities, or all camp sessions accessible, but recipients who operate more than one camp or session may not limit qualified handicapped persons to one camp or session.
(c) Materials. Recipients shall make materials accessible to qualified handicapped persons with sensory or mental impairments. Commonly-used materials shall be readily available in alternate forms such as Braille or tape. Upon request, recipients shall make other materials available through appropriate means such as Braille, tape, readers, large print formats, simplified versions, written scripts, or interpreters. Recipients need not provide individually prescribed devices, readers for personal use or study, or other devices or services of a personal nature.
(a) A recipient that provides private elementary or secondary education may not, on the basis of handicap, exclude a qualified handicapped person if the person can, with minor adjustments, be provided an appropriate education, as defined by § 15b.22(b)(1)(i). Each recipient to which this section applies is also subject to the provisions of §§ 15b.23 and 15b.26.
(b) A recipient to which this section applies may not charge more for the provision of an appropriate education to handicapped persons than to nonhandicapped persons except to the extent that any additional charge is justified by a substantial increase in cost to the recipient.