Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is aFederal civil rights statute that prohibits discrimination on the basis of adisability in any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance. Section 504 assures that disabled studentshave educational opportunities and benefits equal to those provided tonon-disabled students.
No otherwise qualified individual with a disability shallsolely, by reason of her or his disability, be excluded from participation in,be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any programor activity receiving Federal financial assistance.
A student with a disability under Section 504 meansany student who:
- (1)Has a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities, (2)has a record of such an impairment, or (3) is regarded as having such an impairment. 34 C.F.R. §104.3(j)(1).
- The Section 504 regulatory provision at 34 C.F.R. 104.3(j)(2)(i) defines a physical or mental impairment as any physiological disorder or condition, cosmetic disfigurement, or anatomical loss affecting one or more of the following body systems: neurological; musculoskeletal; special sense organs; respiratory, including speech organs; cardiovascular; reproductive; digestive; genito-urinary; hemic and lymphatic; skin; and endocrine; or any mental or psychological disorder, such as mental retardation, organic brain syndrome, emotional or mental illness, and specific learning disabilities.
- Major life activities may include but are not limited to functions such as bending, breathing, caring for one’s self, communicating, concentrating, eating, hearing, learning, lifting, performing manual tasks, reading, seeing, sleeping, standing, speaking, thinking, walking, and working.
- Major life activities may also include, but not be limited to: functions of the immune system, normal cell growth, and digestive, bowel, bladder, neurological, brain, respiratory, circulatory, endocrine, and reproductive functions.
When a student is covered by Section 504, BalszElementary School District must provide the accommodations that are appropriateand necessary for the student to have equal access to services, programs, andactivities offered by our schools.
Americans with Disability Act
The ADA is a civil rights law that also prohibitsdiscrimination on the basis of disability by public institutions. The ADA wasamended by the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA) in 2008and went into effect January of 2009. The intent of the ADAAA was to emphasizea broader application of the definition of disability under the ADA and Section504.
· It is important to note that that any student eligible forspecial education and related services is also protected from discriminationunder Section 504, but that not all students who are eligible under Section 504meet the eligibility requirements for special education and related services. Astudent who is suspected of requiring special education and related servicesshould be referred for a special education assessment as described in thesection on IEP Eligibility. If an IEP team finds the student is not eligiblefor special education, but suspects the student has a disability, it may referthe student for the Section 504 evaluation process.