Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is a federal law designed to protect the rights of individuals with disabilities in programs and activities that receive Federal financial assistance from the U.S. Department of Education (ED).
Section 504 provides that: “no otherwise qualified individual with handicaps in the United States…shall, solely by reason of his/her handicap, 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)
Students may be referred by parents, teachers, counselors, administrators, or any other district employee for evaluation to determine if they are disabled and in need of special instruction or services. Section 504 is not an entitlement or funding statute. It provides certain procedural protections for persons with disabilities to ensure that their needs are met as adequately as the needs of non-disabled persons.
To be eligible under Section 504, a student must not only have an identified disability, but that disability must substantially limit that student’s ability to perform a major life activity, such as learning. Section 504 requires each school to: Conduct an unbiased evaluation of a child who has a disability, has a record of such a disability, or is regarded as having a disability. Make placement decisions using a team of persons knowledgeable about the student and the assessment data. Offer due process procedures for the resolution of disputes. For additional information please contact the Director of Special Populations via phone @ 214-275-1227 or via email @ email@example.com.