WHAT IS SECTION 504?
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is a broad civil rights law which protects the rights of individuals with disabilities in programs and activities that receive federal financial assistance.
WHO IS PROTECTED?
A student who has a disability which substantially limits one or more major life activities is protected under Section 504. Major life activities can include (but are not limited to): eating, breathing, walking, learning, concentrating, thinking, or caring for one's self.
HOW DOES A STUDENT BECOME ELIGIBLE FOR SECTION 504?
To be eligible under Section 504, a student must have a “physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities”. Major life activities, as defined in the Section 504 regulations include functions such as caring for one’s self, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, and working. This list is not exhaustive.
WHAT DOES SECTION 504 PROVIDE FOR STUDENTS?
When students are eligible under Section 504, an accommodation plan may be developed. Accommodations are designed to reflect specific areas in which a substantial limitation is documented and to meet the individual student’s needs. A case manager is assigned to each student who has an accommodation plan and is the point of contact for all individuals who work with the student. The case manager ensures that everyone working with the student has an understanding of the student and the accommodations. Each person working with the student is responsible for implementing the plan.
The accommodation plan is updated annually. Eligibility for Section 504 is reviewed periodically.