Section 504 Student Accommodation

  • Overview of procedures

    Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination in access to programs and activities on the basis of disability. All individuals determined to have a disability are protected by this law. There are 2 criteria that must be met in order to be eligible for a Section 504 Accommodation Plan:

    1. The student must have a physical or mental impairment. Diagnosis of the impairment should be made by a qualified professional.
    2. The student must demonstrate that he/she is substantially limited by the diagnosed impairment in a major life activity at school.

    Major life activities include, but are not limited to, areas such as learning, concentration, walking, seeing, breathing, hearing, lifting, bending, and performing manual tasks. Additionally, major life activities include the operation of "major bodily functions” such as the immune, neurological or respiratory system.

    If a student is determined to be eligible for a Section 504 plan, then he/she can receive reasonable accommodations that are designed to help the student access his/her educational environment. Accommodations must relate to the nature of how the disability is impacting the student at school. Students whose disabling condition is sporadic, in remission, or managed by medication/treatment may qualify as disabled and be covered by protections of the law, yet not require accommodations because of the status of the student’s condition.

    Consideration for Section 504 eligibility entails a specific, detailed, and timely process that school professionals must follow. Each school in RSSS has a 504 chairperson who can assist with parent questions.