Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 prohibits discrimination against persons with disabilities. Section 504 is a nondiscrimination statute, not a funding statute, which protects the civil and constitutional rights of persons with disabilities.
Under Section 504, a person with a handicap is defined as anyone who:
- Has a mental or physical impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities.
- Has a record of such an impairment.
- Is regarded as having such impairment.
Major life activities include, but are not limited to, caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, communicating, standing, eating, lifting, working, reading, concentrating, thinking, sleeping, bending, learning and working. A major life activity for children and adolescents of school age is learning.
The decision regarding whether or not to identify a student under Section 504 is made on a case-by-case basis. The Section 504 committee reviews each student’s individual information to determine whether there is a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities. The committee is made up of individuals that are knowledgeable about the requirements of Section 504. The committee considers the nature and severity of the impairment, its duration or expected duration, and the long-term impact of the impairment on the student’s opportunity to access and benefit from programs and activities offered by the district. If a student is found eligible, the committee will develop a Section 504 Accommodation Plan to provide appropriate accommodations to assist the student with accessing district programs and activities.
Please refer to the Notice of Rights and Procedural Safeguards for more information.