Section 504

Updated on Tue, 08/10/2021 - 10:19am

What is Section 504

Section 504 is a federal statute that prohibits discrimination against persons with disabilities in any program receiving federal financial assistance.    

In order for schools to provide an appropriate education for students who are protected under Section 504, accommodations and modifications may be necessary.  The vast majority of accommodations and modifications for students served under Section 504 will occur in a general education classroom.

When does a student qualify as having a disability under Section 504?

A student who has a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more life activities, is a disabled person for purposes of Section 504.

What is a major life activity?

Major life activities include caring for one’s self, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, working and learning.

What is the difference between Section 504 and IDEA?

Section 504 requires reasonable accommodations to ensure non-discrimination against students with disabilities.  IDEA requires affirmative action in providing special education and related services.  IDEA compliance involves special education while Section 504 is a regular education initiative.

Parents should contact their child’s school Section 504 Building Coordinator for questions or additional information on how to submit a Section 504 referral form.