Exhaustion of Remedies Under Section 504 and the Americans With Disabilities Act

There has been confusion in the Ninth Circuit as to whether students were required to exhaust remedies under IDEA before being able to bring cases under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act or the Americans with Disabilities Act.  Our colleagues at Learning Rights Disability Law Center, including Janeen Steele, were successful last week in front of the Ninth Circuit when the Court, by a 2 to 1 decision could pursue a claim under the Americans With Disabilities Act without exhausting his remedies under IDEA.  D.D. was a student who, his attorneys allege, was denied equal access to a public education because of his disability.  The Court held that his claims of discrimination were separate from D.D.’s right to a free appropriate education because the allegations being made by D.D. concerned the denial of access to public facilities rather than the denial of an appropriate education.  The entire decision can be downloaded here.

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