Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is a federal statute that prohibits discrimination against “otherwise qualified handicapped individuals” in any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance, such as public schools. The main purpose of Section 504 is to prohibit discrimination while assuring that disabled students have educational opportunities and benefits equal to those provided to non-disabled students. If a student is found not to be eligible under Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, he or she may be eligible under Section 504 if definition of a disability is met.
A student is considered to be handicapped under Section 504 if he or she:
- Has a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities
- Major life activities include: caring for one’s self, performing a manual task, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, working, and learning
- Has a record of such impairment
- A record of impairment may include a history of impairment and or a diagnosis of assessment of an impairment
- Is regarded as having such an impairment; is a handicapped individual protected by Section 504
- An individual is regarded as having such an impairment when the district’s perception of, response to, reaction or attitude toward the student results in treating the student as having an impairment, that the student will be considered handicapped and protected under Section 504.
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act is a federal anti-discrimination law intended to create a level playing field in regular education. It was not created to give unfair advantage. Accommodations must apply only to the named impairment.
Please direct all questions/referrals to your child’s teacher or the building principal.