Section 504 prohibits discrimination against students with disabilities by school districts receiving federal financial assistance. This includes all programs or activities of the school district, regardless of whether the specific program or activity involved is a direct recipient of federal funds. Included in the U.S. Department of Education regulations for Section 504 is the requirement that students with disabilities be provided with a free and appropriate public education (FAPE). These regulations require identification, evaluation, provision of appropriate services, and procedural safeguards.
All individuals who are disabled under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) are also considered to be disabled and, therefore, protected under Section 504. However, all individuals who have been determined to be disabled under Section 504 may not be disabled under IDEA.
The authority provided under Section 504 intersects with other statutes. Section 504 is not a provision of special education as defined by the IDEA. It is a responsibility of the general public education system. Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 incorporates and expands upon Section 504. This title provides that no qualified individual with a disability shall, by reason of such disability, be excluded from participation in, or be denied, the benefits of the services, programs, or activities of a public entity, or be subjected to discrimination by any such entity.
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (2009) and further clarified in 2010, prohibits discrimination against persons with disabilities in all programs and activities that receive federal financial assistance. An eligible student is one who:
· has a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities;
· has a record or history of such impairment;
· is regarded as having such an impairment.Any student with a disability that substantially limits one or more life activities may be considered for 504 services. A Section 504 referral can be initiated by a parent, student or school personnel. The referral must be made by someone who is knowledgeable about the student and has reason to believe that the student has a disability that is substantially limiting one or more major life activities. A Section 504 plan outlines the accommodations and supports necessary to provide the student with a disability a free and appropriate education. It may address academic, behavioral, or health issues.
If you have questions about Section 504, please contact Emily Steele, District Section 504 & Dyslexia Coordinator at 817.547.5729.