What is Section 504?
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is designed to protect the civil rights of individuals with disabilities. The intent of the law is to prevent any form of discrimination based on disabilities.
Disabled . . . .
How Does Section 504 Define “Disabled”?
To be protected under Section 504, a student must be determined to:
- Have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities;
- Have a record of such an impairment, or
- Be regarded as having such an impairment
Benefits of 504
Accommodations in the classroom setting:
- Physical environment
- Instructional materials
- Instructional methods
- Opportunity for success
- Equal Access
- Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE)
What Procedural Safeguards Do Parents Have?
The following is a description of the rights granted by federal law to students with disabilities (as defined under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973). The intent of the law is to keep parents fully informed concerning decisions about their children and to inform parents of their rights if they disagree with any of these decisions.
You (the parent) have the right to:
- Have your child take part in, and receive benefits from, public education programs without discrimination because of his/her disabling condition
- Receive prior notice with respect to the identification, evaluation, or placement of your child
- Have your child receive a free appropriate public education
- Have your child receive services and be educated in facilities which are comparable to those provided to nondisabled students
- Have evaluation, educational and placement decisions made based on a variety of information sources, by persons who know the student and who are knowledgeable about the evaluation data and placement options
- Have your child be given an equal opportunity to participate in nonacademic and extracurricular activities offered by the district
- Have transportation provided to and from an alternative placement setting (if the setting is a program not operated by the district) at no greater cost to you than would be incurred if the student were placed in a program operated by the district
- Examine all relevant records relating to decisions regarding your child’s identification, evaluation, and placement
- Request mediation or an impartial due process hearing related to decisions or actions regarding your child’s identification, evaluation, and placement
- File a local grievance with the local district’s ADA/504 grievance officer
- Take action through the Civil Court
- Be represented by an attorney or legal counsel