Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is a civil rights statute that prohibits discrimination/harassment against individuals with disabilities in programs that receive federal funding.
The act requires school districts to provide students with disabilities a Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) including accommodations that allow access to educational programs and associated activities to the same extent as students without disabilities.
What is a 504 plan?
How does Section 504 define a disability
- A physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities,
- Has a record of such an impairment, or
- Is regarded as having such an impairment.
Do all students with disabilities have a 504 plan?
Other students have a disability but it does not substantially limit a major life activity related to school activities or learning. These students are protected under Section 504 from discrimination, but do not require an accommodation plan.
What is meant by "substantially limits one or more life activities"?
What are considered major life activities?
When should a 504 referral be considered?
- Is being considered for retention
- Does not require or meet eligibility for special education
- Returning to school after a serious injury
- Returning to school after a mental health crisis/hospitalization
- Is being considered for expulsion, SARB or at risk for dropping out
How is a 504 referral processed?
Once the assessment is completed the team will reconvene to determine eligibility, and if the student meets criteria, develop a 504 plan.
What types of accommodations can be provided?
- Extra time on tests or assignments
- Extra time to transition between classes
- An individual behavior support plan
- Additional communication between home and school
- Additional study aides
- Use of text-to-speech or speech-to-text technology
- Extra set of books at home
- Use of a private restroom
- Preferential seating
Section 504 Procedural Safeguards and appeal process
You have the right to appeal any decision by the 504 team including decisions regarding identification, evaluation and/or accommodations. In addition, if you are concerned that school staff are not implementing your child’s 504 plan as agreed upon you may file a complaint with the district 504 coordinator. To file an appeal or complaint please contact your school site 504 coordinator.
Impairments of major bodily functions
- functions of the immune system
- normal cell growth
- digestive, bowel, bladder issues
- neurological, brain
- respiratory, circulatory, endocrine
- reproductive functions
Who should I contact for further information?
For elementary students, the 504 site coordinator is the School Principal.
For all secondary students, the 504 coordinator is:
The Vice Principal for your student
The District level 504 Administrator is:
(707) 747-8300 ext. 1240