What is Section 504?
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is a federal law that prohibits discrimination against persons with disabilities in any program or activity that receives federal financial assistance from the United States Department of Education. The Center School District is a recipient of federal financial assistance from the United States Department of Education and, therefore, is covered by Section 504.
The purpose of Section 504 is to eliminate discrimination on the basis of disability in any program or activity provided by school districts that receive federal financial assistance. Otherwise stated, the purpose is to ensure that students who are eligible under Section 504 have educational opportunities equivalent to those of their nondisabled peers. Therefore, it is the responsibility of regular education staff and building administration to implement those practices and procedures necessary for a school to fulfill the requirements of this law. At each school within the Center School District, the responsibility for insuring Section 504 compliance rests with the building principal or principal’s designee, also referred to as the Building 504 Representative.
Section 504 Disability Definition
Under Section 504, a person with a disability is defined as an individual who:
Has a mental or physical impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities;
Has a record of such an impairment; or
Is regarded as having such an impairment.
Students who satisfy the first definition above are entitled to a free appropriate public education (“FAPE”) in the least restrictive environment. FAPE, under Section 504, is defined as the provision of regular or special education and related services that are designed to meet the individual educational needs of the disabled student as adequately as the needs of nondisabled students. Students who satisfy only the second and third definitions are not entitled to FAPE, but are entitled to be free from discrimination.
For more information about Section 504
For specific details regarding referral, eligibility and services required under this Federal Law, please refer to the important links below. In addition, parents and staff members are encouraged and invited to contact the School Principal, the Section 504 Building Representatives for the school, or the District 504 Coordinator.