Does a Disability Automatically Qualify a Student to Receive Special Education Services?

No, having a disability does not automatically qualify a student to receive special education services.

Assessments and evaluations to determine whether the student’s disability is adversely affecting academic performance would be conducted before a decision is made.

If the student does not qualify as needing special education services, the student may be entitled to protections under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.

Section 504 protects individuals with disabilities from discrimination related to their disabilities and requires school districts to take actions to ensure that students with disabilities have access to equal education opportunities, like alternate testing formats and using assistive technology in the classroom.