Required Services May Include Air-Conditioning

Air-conditioning may be an accommodation your child with a disability needs to participate in school.

While not a specifically listed service or accommodation in either IDEA 2004 or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, the school district could be required to provide air-conditioning for certain children with disabilities. IDEA 2004 states as part of its purpose “to ensure that all children with disabilities have available to them a free appropriate public education that emphasizes special education and related services designed to meet their unique needs.” While education is clearly the focal point of IDEA 2004, transportation is also considered a related service under IDEA 2004. Therefore, if, due to a disability, your child needs climate-controlled transportation and/or a classroom in order to attend school, then the school district is obligated to provide such transportation or classroom arrangements under the law.

The best way to present this issue to the school district is to obtain a written note from your child’s doctor informing the school district that air-conditioned transportation and/or an air-conditioned classroom is medically necessary due to your disability. The more specific the doctor’s note the better.

For example, if your child cannot be subjected to temperatures over a certain level for more than a certain period of time, the note should so state. Deliver the doctor’s note along with a written request for the necessary service to the child’s case manager.

The request does not have to be tendered during an IEP meeting (it can be at any time). If your child’s school district still refuses to provide your child with air-conditioned transportation and/or an air-conditioned classroom, give Cahill & Associates a call, at 630-778-6500.

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