Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is a federal civil rights statute that assures individuals will not be discriminated against based on their disability. These regulations require identification, evaluation, provision of appropriate service, and procedural safeguards in all public schools. Section 504 protects a student with an impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, whether the student receives special education services or not.
- Examples of physical or mental impairments that may be covered under Section 504 include epilepsy, AIDS, allergies, vision impairment, cancer, diabetes, asthma, a temporary condition due to accidents or illness, ADHD, learning disabilities, autism, depression, intellectual disability, traumatic brain injury, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
- Examples of major life activities that can be affected by the student's disability include learning, thinking, concentrating, reading, speaking, walking, breathing, sleeping, caring for oneself, as well as major bodily functions, including brain function, immune system function, or digestive functions. This is not an exhaustive list.
Eligibility is determined by a school district team that is knowledgeable about 504 requirements, the student, and educational resources. After parent information is obtained, the team reviews evaluation data to determine eligibility and shares this with parent(s); if the student is eligible the team determines the most appropriate placement and services for the student.
Parents who have concerns or questions regarding 504 services, or suspect their child has a Section 504 disability, should contact their child's school counselor or building principal.