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.
SECTION 504 STATES THAT:
“No otherwise qualified individual with a disability in the United States, as defined in section 706(8) of this title, shall, solely by reason of her or his disability, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance…” [29 U.S.C. §794(a), 34 C.F.R. §104.4(a)].
WHO IS COVERED UNDER SECTION 504?
To be covered under Section 504, a student must be “qualified ” (which roughly equates to being between 3 and 22 years of age, depending on the program, as well as state and federal law, and must have a disability) [34 C.F.R. §104.3(k)(2)].
PROCEDURES FOR IEP/504 TEAMS:
Section 504 is part of a federal civil rights law known as the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. This law specifically prohibits discrimination against students with disabilities and guarantees them a free and appropriate public education (FAPE). Discrimination, as defined in Section 504, is the failure to provide students with disabilities the same opportunity to benefit from education programs, services, or activities as is provided to their nondisabled peers. Therefore, schools cannot exclude students with disabilities from facilities, programs, benefits, activities, or services that are provided to students without disabilities. These activities and services include, but are not limited to participation with peers: while eating lunch; in physical education and other non academic classes; and attending sports functions. Schools must make sure that all students receive equal access to educational opportunities. Students with disabilities receiving Special education (SPE) services, as defined by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), are protected under Section 504 and, as such, receive the same opportunities as defined above, but not all Section 504 students are eligible for Special Education.