For more information about a 504 plan or referral, contact your building coordinator.
What is Section 504?
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 states: "No otherwise qualified individual with disabilities in the United States... shall solely by reason of his/her disability, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance."
Section 504 requires that the district provide a free and appropriate public education (FAPE) to all students with disabilities at pre-school, elementary and secondary levels.
Section 504 defines a person with a disability as anyone who:
Section 504 eligibility at school district level is determined almost exclusively by the use of definition number #1.
A physical or mental impairment can be defined as "any physiological disorder or condition, cosmetic disfigurement or anatomical loss affecting one or more of the body systems... or any mental or psychological disorder, such as mental retardation, organic brain syndrome, emotion or mental illness, and specific learning disabilities."
Section 504 Eligibility
It is the responsibility of school districts to evaluate students who might meet any of the criteria for a disability under Section 504. A multidisciplinary team of school personnel who know the student, the meaning of the evaluation data, and the placement options, must make determination of eligibility for Section 504. Parents and other parties with pertinent information about the student may also be included as members of the team. This group is responsible for reviewing the nature of the disability, determining how it affects the student's education, and determining what accommodations, if any, may be necessary.
When determining eligibility the team needs to consider the following:
All students with a diagnosed disability may be referred to Section 504. However, the existing disability must limit a major life activity substantially to be eligible for accommodations. That is, the limitation must be important and material - not minor or moderate in nature in the view of the Section 504 team making the determination. If not substantially limited, the student is not eligible for accommodations.
If a student is determined to be eligible under Section 504 by the multidisciplinary team, a copy of the Section 504 Non-Discrimination Plan will be provided to parents, teachers, staff, the Building Section 504 Coordinator, and the District Section 504 Coordinator.
Section 504 Non-Discrimination Plans will be reviewed annually.
If the parents or guardians disagree with the identification, evaluation, or placement of the student with a disability, a grievance procedure is available which includes an impartial hearing provided by the school district.