Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is designed to protect the rights of individuals with disabilities in programs and services that receive Federal financial assistance. In the educational setting, Section 504 requires recipients to provide qualified students with disabilities appropriate educational support designed to meet the individual needs of such students to the same extent as the needs of students without disabilities.
Qualified students are defined as those with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities. If the student’s educational team (including parent/guardian) determines through a Section 504 evaluation that the student meets the eligibility requirements, the team will then determine whether or not the qualified student requires accommodations and/or other supports to access the curriculum to the same extent as nondisabled peers. If the student does require support, the educational team will develop a Section 504 plan with accommodations to “level the playing field” and provide equal access to education for the student.
Accommodations under a Section 504 plan are based upon individual student need and may include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Presentation Accommodations - adjusting the way an assignment or assessment is presented to the student
- Response Accommodations - adjusting the way the student responds to an assignment or assessment
- Timing/Scheduling Accommodations - adjusting the length of time or the way time is organized for the student to complete an assignment or assessment
- Setting Accommodations - adjusting the location of or conditions under which an assignment or assessment is given to a student
If you suspect that your child may have a disability under Section 504, contact your student’s building principal in writing with your concerns. Please see the district’s 504 Procedural Safeguards notice for additional information.