Protecting Children and Youth from Sudden Cardiac Arrest
Public Law 504 Information Letter
Many thanks to Rachel Moyer of the Gregory Moyer Memorial AED Fund for providing the letter below. This letter provides guidance for contacting your school, school district, and the Department of Education.
The federal government has established under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 Section 504 that a child cannot be denied access to “reasonable accommodations” in his or her school regarding health issues that may impair his or her ability to function in major life activities. An example of an impairment would include walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing or taking care of oneself.
If your child has been diagnosed by a physician or cardiologist to have a heart condition or health impairment, examples include but are not limited to: asthma, allergies, seizures, epilepsy, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, Marfan syndrome, Barth syndrome, Brugada syndrome, Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, Congenital Long QT, Long QT, Short QT, ARVD, Myocarditis or heart murmur.
Your medical doctor or cardiologist may write a prescription for an automated external defibrillator (AED) to be available on school grounds and also on field trips for your child. This is a reasonable accommodation that may save your child’s life if he or she goes into SCA.
The AED must be available with a trained responder within three to five minutes of your child collapsing and the AED electrodes being placed on your child. Three minutes is the preferred time lapse.
Your child is entitled to have access to an automated external defibrillator as part of a 504 Plan or IEP (Individual Education Plan.)
This may be requested by asking for a hearing for a Section 504 Plan for your child at your school district. The AED may be a part of his or her IEP or it can be a Section 504 Plan by itself.
The school district is responsible for purchasing the AED, maintaining it, making it publicly accessible and having staff trained to use it.
If your school district refuses to provide an AED for your child at the 504 hearing and you have provided a prescription for an AED from your doctor, you can then file a complaint with your regional Office of Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Education or sue in federal court.
If you wish to file a 504 complaint, go to www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/complaintintro.html
Or call (800) 421-3481 (TDD) (877) 521-2172
For additional information about Section 504 visit the Dept of Ed website: www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/504faq.html
If your child already has a diagnosis, ask your doctor for a prescription for an AED and a letter stating your child’s is being treated for this condition.
If you have any questions, please contact me and I will provide you with an actual letter to a school district and a 504 plan. Two children in TN have been diagnosed with HCM and are on medication. They each have a 504 plan and the district purchased AEDs because of the parent’s request.