ADHD students gain more Civil Rights protection in the US

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Thursday, 28 July 2016 11:52am

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has just issued guidance that clarifies the obligation of schools in the United States to provide students with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) with equal educational opportunities.

Image of the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) logo

Image of the Office for Civil Rights logo

Over the last five years, the OCR has received more than 16,000 complaints that allege discrimination on the basis of disability in elementary and secondary education programs, and more than 10 percent involve allegations of discrimination against students with ADHD.

The most common complaint concerns academic and behavioural difficulties students with ADHD experience at school when they are not timely and properly evaluated for a disability, or when they do not receive necessary special education or related aids and services.

The mission of OCR is to ensure equal access to education and to promote educational excellence throughout the U.S.A through the vigorous enforcement of civil rights. This recent move is supported by falling under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and has been welcomed by civil rights leaders in the USA.

“On this 26th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, I am pleased to honor Congress’ promise with guidance clarifying the rights of students with ADHD in our nation’s schools,” said Catherine E. Lhamon, Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights. “The Department will continue to work with the education community to ensure that students with ADHD, and all students, are provided with equal access to education.”

In addition to this new guidance, the U.S. Department also released a ‘Know Your Rights’ document that provides a brief overview of schools’ obligations to students with ADHD.

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