Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is a civil rights law that protects students with disabilities from discrimination/harassment on the basis of disability in any program or activity that receives federal financial assistance. Under Section 504, the District has responsibilities related to the provision of a “free appropriate public education” (FAPE) to qualified individuals with disabilities.
In order to receive protection under Section 504, the student must have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities. A qualified student with a disability may be referred and evaluated for accommodations or services in the general education or special education setting.
If you suspect your student may have a disability and wish to have your student evaluated for a Section 504 Plan:
- Ask to speak to your child’s principal or the School Site Section 504 Coordinator, and request an evaluation for a Section 504 plan.
- Usually, parents/guardians, teachers, and school staff will first convene through the school's Coordinated Care Team (CCT) to discuss all relevant information, consult with persons knowledgeable about the student, and determine if a Section 504 referral is appropriate.
- If the CCT suspects that the student has a disability, then the team will recommend a Section 504 meeting to determine initial eligibility under Section 504. A medical diagnosis alone is not enough to demonstrate a student’s eligibility under Section 504. The eligibility determination must be made according to a variety of sources of information.
- Once the Section 504 team determines the student is a qualified individual with a disability, then the team will evaluate whether the student requires accommodations or services in a Section 504 plan in order to receive equal access to the educational program. If the student is found eligible, a Section 504 plan will be developed to meet the individual needs of the student.
NOTE: A Section 504 team does not have any authority regarding testing accommodations provided by the College Board (e.g. Advanced Placement, PSAT, SAT, etc.), the ACT or other third party standardized testing organization.
For Section 504 grievance procedures, appeal and review rights, please see Chapter 7.9 Section 504 Grievance Procedure.
This page was last updated on September 28, 2022