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Section 504

Elementary students reading books.
Elementary students reading books.

What is Section 504?

Section 504 is a part of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 that prohibits discrimination based upon disability. Section 504 is an anti-discrimination, civil rights statute that requires the needs of students with disabilities to be met as adequately as the needs of the non-disabled are met.


What is an “impairment” as used under the Section 504 definition?

An impairment as used in Section 504 may include any disability, long-term illness, or various disorder that “substantially” reduces or lessens a student’s ability to access learning in the educational setting because of a learning-, behavior- or health-related condition.


Who can refer a child for consideration for evaluation under Section 504?

Anyone can refer a child for evaluation under Section 504. However, while anyone can make a referral, such as parents or a doctor, “the school district must also have reason to believe that the child is in need of services under Section 504 due to a disability.”


What information is used in doing an evaluation under Section 504?

Under Section 504, no formalized testing is required. The 504 Committee should look at grades over the past several years, teacher’s reports, information from parents or other agencies, state assessment scores or other school administered tests, observations, discipline reports, attendance records, health records and adaptive behavior information.  A single source of information (such as a doctor’s report) cannot be the only information considered.


What types of accommodations will my child receive if determined eligible under Section 504?

Each child’s needs are determined individually.

Accommodations that may be used, but are not limited to, include:


Will my child still be able to participate in nonacademic services?

Yes. Districts must provide equal opportunity in areas such as counseling, physical education and/or athletics, transportation, health services, recreational activities, and special interest groups or clubs.
Read moreA Parents Guide to 504