Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Americans with Disability Act
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act prohibits discrimination against persons with a disability in any program receiving Federal financial assistance. Students with disabilities shall be provided accommodations in order to ensure equal participation in the school setting. The Act defines a person with a disability as anyone who has a mental or physical impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activity: self-care, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning and working. Academic accommodations may include individualized instruction, extra time, reduced workload or organizational assistance. Physical accommodations may include assistive devices or special equipment, administering medication or preferential seating, but would not include changes in instructional programs.
When a student with disabilities requires an accommodation, the parents and school representatives will meet to determine the disability, and develop a written plan outlining accommodations that will be provided in the school setting.
Section 1: Referral of Students with Disabilities
- A student may be referred by a school employee, a parent or through self-referral for determination of whether accommodations need to be provided.
- A student may be referred for Section 504 accommodations after a case study evaluation has determined that the student is ineligible for special education services under the Individual with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), but still has a disability that would require accommodations.
Section 2: Review of Need for Accommodation Plan/Development of Plan
- A meeting will be convened with parents, student and appropriate school personnel to determine the nature of the disability, reasonable and appropriate accommodations to ensure the student can participate equally in school, and to prepare a written 504 Plan if justified. Evaluation procedures may be utilized, or medical records requested, to determine if a student is eligible for accommodations under Section 504.
- If it is determined that no accommodations are necessary to ensure equal participation by the student, the parents shall be given reasons for such determination and advised of their right to obtain review of the decision.