Section 504 and the Americans with Disabilities Amendment Act are complex civil rights protections afforded across many environments and conditions, including K-12 and higher education. District personnel oftentimes struggle with understanding these nebulously vague statutes and how they intersect but also separate from special education. This presentation will provide educational practitioners with a broad conceptual lens on Section 504 and ADAA, with attention to navigating these civil rights demands within the comprehensive model of student supports.
- Participants will review relevant civil rights statutes and their application to educational environments.
- Learners will compare and contrast Section 504, ADAA, and IDEIA across key areas of child find, evaluation, and services.
- Participants will explore 10 key Section 504 areas of significant guidance and enforcement, including COVID-19.
- Learners will examine the process of child find, evaluation, and drafting Section 504 Accommodation and Services plans.
Presenter: Erich Merkle, PhD, EdS, NCSP
Dr. Erich Merkle is presently the central office school psychologist for the Akron Board of Education where he oversees the Pupil Adjustment Program (PAP) between the Departments of Student Support Services and Office of Special Education. Within the school psychology specialty, Dr. Merkle has concentrated his work on consultation, evaluation, and intervention for students with severe social-emotional and behavioral needs that have resulted in substantial educational disciplinary sanctioning, expulsion, placement into residential facilities, or the judicial system. He is also a frequent professional development trainer on a diversity of topics that represent the intersection of psychology and education as well as the legal aspects of those practices. Dr. Merkle holds an APA accredited and NASP approved doctorate (Ph.D.) in school psychology and psychology, an educational specialist (Ed.S.) in educational administration, a master's degree (M.Ed.) in mental health counseling, and a master's degree (M.A.) in human development, all from Kent State University as well as a baccalaureate degree (B.S.) in psychology from Heidelberg University. He holds professional licensure as both a school psychologist and educational administrator as well as national certification as a school psychologist (NCSP). Dr. Merkle commits himself to service within the professions of psychology and education, serving on the governance boards of numerous professional and community agencies. During 2014-15, Dr. Merkle was the President of the Ohio School Psychologists Association (OSPA) and in 2019-20, he served as the President of the Ohio Psychological Association (OPA). He is also the shared Association liaison between OSPA and OPA. Dr. Merkle has participated in numerous media interviews over his career on a diverse set of psychoeducational topics. He is also the recipient of the Ohio Public Sector Psychologist of the Year and President Awards from the Ohio Psychological Association.
2 Ethics Hours Earned
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There are no copyright restrictions on this document. However, please cite and credit the source when copying all or part of this document. This document was supported in whole or in part by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs, (Award number H027A210111, CFDA 84.027A, awarded to the Ohio Department of Education). The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs, and no official endorsement by the Department should be inferred.