What is Section 504?
Section 504 is a federal civil rights law that protects the rights of people with qualifying disabilities. It requires that recipients of federal funds make programs and activities accessible to all people with disabilities. Section 504 has three areas of emphasis: employment, facility accessibility; and requirements for preschool, elementary and secondary education programs/activities. This information focuses only on education.
Who is eligible?
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act defines a person with a disability as anyone who:
- has a mental or physical impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities (major life activities include activities such as caring for ones self, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, major bodily functions (immune system, normal cell growth), and to include sleeping, standing, lifting, bending, reading, concentrating, thinking, communicating, and working;
- has a record of such impairment; or
- is regarded as having such impairment
I believe my child is eligible. What is the process?
The Section 504 committee will determine if a referred student meets the qualification criteria as disable under the Section 504 definition. The committee will be composed of at least 2 persons, including persons knowledgeable about the student, the meaning of the evaluation data, the placement options, the legal requirement to place a student with a disability with non-disabled peers to the extent appropriate and possible, and the legal obligation to provide comparable facilities to students with disabilities. Before taking any action regarding identification, evaluation, or placement, the district will provide parents with prior notice.