Northwest AEA

Section 504: Protecting Students with Disabilities

Gifted Students with Disabilities


Gifted Students with Disabilities
Section 504 Compliance Advisor
March 2012, LRP Publications, Vol. 16, Iss. 1
“Twice-exceptional” students – those students who are gifted and have a disability – are not precluded from enrolling in Advanced Placement and honors classes or from receiving services and accommodations in them.  In fact, denying, on the basis of disability, a qualified student the opportunity to participate in an accelerated program violates Section 504 and Title II. 
•    Develop policy on serving gifted students with disabilities in AP, honors classes.
•    Establish building-level support team for such students.
•    Share with teachers some accommodation options for gifted students with disabilities.
•    Work with staff to overcome the belief that a student who needs accommodations can still enroll in AP or honors classes.
You may want to consider those accommodations approved by the College Board for use on AP exams would be ones you could implement in AP courses.  Continually make staff aware of those students who are on 504 plans so they know the student’s needs, weaknesses and how those areas of needs are met.  Some accommodations that may be useful, depending on student needs, might be computer, graphic organizers, copies of notes, reading support via screen-reading software, preferential seating near instruction or away from distraction, and extended time. 

“Modifying a student’s overall workload in an AP or honors class is an accommodation frequently used by twice-exceptional students. But this particular accommodation can be tricky for teachers who might consider all of the class’ activities and assignments essential to the course objectives. In such situations, elicit the support of your school’s special education staff to help teachers adjust the workload while still achieving content and curricular goals.  For example, a math teachers might ask a student to complete the most difficult math questions first in order to show mastery.” (March 2012, LRP Publications, Vol. 16, Iss. 1, pg. 6)

What are some of the issues you have faced when your district has been faced with this challenge?  How did you resolve them?

Jan 16, 2013 11:12 AM |Add a comment
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