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 qualifies a Section 504 disability?
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; or. have a record of such an impairment; or. be regarded as having such an impairment.
During a 504 evaluation, four questions must be answered:
- Does the student have a physical or mental impairment?
- Does the mental or physical impairment affect one or more major life activities?
- Does the physical or mental impairment substantially limit a major life activity?
- Does the student need Section 504 services in order for his/her educational needs to be met as adequately as those of his non-disabled peers?
What is the difference between Section 504 and Special Education?
Section 504 is accommodations the student needs to be successful in the classroom. Special education requires an eligibility and need for specialized supports above and beyond accommodations to access the classroom.