Fw: [EMF] Fwd: ADA, EHS as Disability, 504 accommodations at school

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Fw: [EMF] Fwd: ADA, EHS as Disability, 504 accommodations at school

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1) Letter from US Dept of Education stating EMF's are a trigger for MCS, and that accommodations to protect against EMFs are necessary for those with MCS.  Attached

2) Compilation of 100+ letters from doctors and scientists regarding EHS and wireless radiation.  Attached below

3) US Dept of Education, Office of Civil Rights updated guide to section 504 accommodations, updated Dec. 2016 https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/docs/504-resource-guide-201612.pdf  While it does not mention EHS, it explains what rights a parent has regarding accommodations for impairments, what is considered an impairment, etc.  A must read before going for 504 accommodations.  ADA definition of disability not only includes learning, but also bodily functions and caring for oneself (see 4) below)   Also states that whether or not a student receives good grades is not a factor on whether a student should receive accommodations: 

a) Grades don't matter, only impact on major life activity, see p. 5 .

" School staff should note, in particular, that a student may have a disability and be eligible for Section 504 services even if his or her disability does not limit the major life activity of learning.
Therefore, rather than considering only how an impairment affects a student’s ability to learn, school staff must also consider how the impairment affects any major life activity of the student and, if necessary, assess what is needed to ensure that students have an equal opportunity to participate in the school’s programs."
For example: (1) a student with a visual impairment

School staff should note that a student may have a disability and be eligible for Section 504 services, including modifications, even if the student earns good grades.
This is because the student’s impairment may substantially limit a major life activity regardless of whether the student performs well academically, and the student may need special education or related aids and services because of this disability.

b) Mitigating measures, see p. 6:

"Mitigating measures. When determining if a person has a disability, a school cannot consider the ameliorative effects of mitigating measures when determining how the impairment impacts the major life activities under consideration."

if a person is taking mitigating measures to treat their impairment,  p. 20 of OCR guide:

"In other words, when a school district conducts an evaluation for disability, it is important to consider that mitigating measures can treat the impairment, thereby obscuring the substantial limitations of the impairment.Therefore, it is useful to have evidence showing that an impairment would be substantially limiting in the absence of the ameliorative (beneficial) effects of mitigating measures. For example, such evidence could include information about the limitations a person experienced prior to taking medication, or evidence concerning the expected course of a particular disorder absent mitigating measures (such as a student with a peanut allergy could stop breathing after contact with peanuts.) This is why it is also beneficial to involve parents in the evaluation process, to access such information that parents may have.

A student is not required to stop taking needed medication or using another mitigating measure in order to receive an evaluation.

Therefore, when determining whether a student with a health concern has a disability, the school district must evaluate whether the health concern (for example, a tree nut allergy or diabetes) would be substantially limiting without considering the beneficial effects (amelioration) of medication or other measures.

4) ADA recognizes EHS (obtained from Environmental Health Trust http://ehtrust.org/science/electromagnetic-sensitivity/ )

Electromagnetic hypersensitivity, aka EHS, is considered a disability under the ADA "if they so severely impair the neurological, respiratory or other functions of an individual that it substantially limits one of more of the individual's major life activities" (p. 56353 of ADA Accessibility Guidelines for Buildings and Facilities; Final Rule, September 2002 . https://www.access-board.gov/attachments/article/586/recreation-rule.pdf

ADA definition of disability not only includes learning, but also bodily functions including digestive and endocrine (this includes thyroid) and caring for oneself, updated August 2016.  From  https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2016/08/11/2016-17417/amendment-of-americans-with-disabilities-act-title-ii-and-title-iii-regulations-to-implement-ada

Current ADA definition of disability
Especially look at (c)(1) – Major life activities:
§ 35.108 Definition of “disability.”
(a)(1) Disability means, with respect to an individual:
(i) A physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities of such individual;
(ii) A record of such an impairment; or
(iii) Being regarded as having such an impairment as described in paragraph (f) of this section.
(b)(1) Physical or mental impairment means:
(i) Any physiological disorder or condition, cosmetic disfigurement, or anatomical loss affecting one or more body systems, such as: neurological, musculoskeletal, special sense organs, respiratory (including speech organs), cardiovascular, reproductive, digestive, genitourinary, immune, circulatory, hemic, lymphatic, skin, and endocrine; or
(ii) Any mental or psychological disorder such as intellectual disability, organic brain syndrome, emotional or mental illness, and specific learning disability.
(2) Physical or mental impairment includes, but is not limited to, contagious and noncontagious diseases and conditions such as the following: orthopedic, visual, speech, and hearing impairments, and cerebral palsy, epilepsy, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, cancer, heart disease, diabetes, intellectual disability, emotional illness, dyslexia and other specific learning disabilities, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Human Immunodeficiency Virus infection (whether symptomatic or asymptomatic), tuberculosis, drug addiction, and alcoholism.
(c)(1) Major life activities include, but are not limited to:
(i) Caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, seeing, hearing, eating, sleeping, walking, standing, sitting, reaching, lifting, bending, speaking, breathing, learning, reading, concentrating, thinking, writing, communicating, interacting with others, and working; and
(ii) The operation of a major bodily function, such as the functions of the immune system, special sense organs and skin, normal cell growth, and digestive, genitourinary, bowel, bladder, neurological, brain, respiratory, circulatory, cardiovascular, endocrine, hemic, lymphatic, musculoskeletal, and reproductive systems. The operation of a major bodily function includes the operation of an individual organ within a body system.

The federal Access Board contracted the National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS) to examine how to accommodate the needs of the electro sensitive in federally funded buildings. The 2005 NIBS Report Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) report is here . http://web.archive.org/web/20060714175343/ieq.nibs.org/ieq_project.pdf

On p. 51-52: 
" Cell Phones Turned Off: Protect those with electromagnetic sensitivities and others who may be adversely affected by electrical equipment."
"Ability to turn off or unplug computers and other electrical equipment by occupant or staff: Protect those with electromagnetic sensitivities."
"People with electromagnetic sensitivities can experience debilitating reactions… from electromagnetic fields emitted by computers, cell phones, and other electrical equipment. The severity of sensitivities varies among people with electromagnetic sensitivities...According to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and other disability laws, public and commercial buildings are required to provide reasonable accommodations for those disabled by electromagnetic sensitivities. These accommodations are best achieved on a case-by-case basis"


5) Job Accommodation Network recognizes EHS.  Attached.
General Accommodation Considerations
• Relocate workplace away from areas where symptoms are triggered. This may include limiting certain types of devices in the vicinity of the employee’s workstation.
• Provide wired telephones and network connections.
• Provide building-wide and/or workspace shielding of equipment and devices

JAN EHS (1).pdf (803K) Download Attachment
DOE_EHStriggersMCS.pdf (90K) Download Attachment