• Section 504 Plans

  • Section 504 is federal civil rights law under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. It provides 
    protection against discrimination for individuals with disabilities. Students in school 
    settings fall under the civil rights protection of Section 504. The law and regulations
    prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability from all school programs and activities 
    in both public and private schools receiving direct or indirect federal funding. Section 
    504 accommodations could be available to identified students with disabilities, who 
    have been evaluated. Section 504 is designed to provide equal access and fairness in 
    general education to students with disabilities, thereby leveling the playing field for them
    through what is known as a Section 504 Accommodation Plan. The student must be evaluated 
    and meet the Section 504 identification criteria.

    A student is entitled to a Section 504 Accommodation Plan if they have been identified 
    and the evaluation shows that the individual has a mental or physical impairment that 
    substantially limits one or more major life activities. This determination is made by 
    a team of knowledgeable individuals, including the parents, who are familiar of the 
    student and his/her disability. 

    The general education Early Intervening Team is usually the starting point to explore 
    whether or not a student needs to be evaluated for accommodations. When a student 
    has not responded positively to research-based interventions in an intervention plan 
    and/or has a suspected disability, the team may determine to conduct an evaluation for 
    special education and/or Section 504. 

    Responsibility for considering and developing a Section 504 Accommodation Plan 
    consists of a core group that includes the school principal or administrator, referring 
    and/or general education classroom teacher, school counselor, and parents—virtually 
    the same as the core members of the Early Intervening Team. This team, in 
    many cases, may also be the school’s Section 504 Team.