Section 504

Section 504 is a federal civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities. Section 504 ensures that the child with a disability has equal access to an education. The child may receive accommodations and modifications.

When does a student qualify under Section 504?
The decision whether or not a student qualifies under Section 504 is made on a case-by-case basis. A screening committee at your child’s school, headed by the 504 coordinator, reviews the child’s individual profile to determine whether there is a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity. Things that are considered include the nature and severity of the impairment, its duration or expected duration and the long term impact of the impairment on the child’s opportunity to equally access and benefit from programs and activities offered in school. A 504 plan typically qualifies a student for accommodations and modifications necessary to allow that student to access the general education curriculum, but individualized services are not generally provided under a 504 plan.

If a child is not eligible for special education services, is a referral for a 504 plan automatically made?
Decisions regarding referral for 504 are made on a case by case basis. Some students who
do not qualify for special education services can be considered for services under 504. If it is suspected that a child may qualify under 504, a referral to the school’s 504 coordinator should be made.

Resources for Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act

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