Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
Purpose of Section 504
Section 504 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. Specifically, Section 504 indicates that no otherwise qualified individual with a disability shall, solely because 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 funds.
The definition of a qualified individual with a disability under Section 504 covers a broader population than the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act which covers what is known as Special Education. A qualified individual under Section 504 is any person 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.
- “Physical or mental impairment” means (a) any physiological disorder or condition, cosmetic disfigurement or anatomical loss affecting one or more of the following body systems: neurological, musculo skeletal, special sense organs, respiratory including speech organs, cardiovascular, reproductive, digestive, genitourinary, hemic and lymphatic skin, and endocrine, or (b) any mental or psychological disorder such as intellectual disability, organic brain syndrome, emotional or mental illness, specific learning disability, attention disorders, mood disorders or learning disabilities (this list is not exhaustive).
- “Has a record of such an impairment” means has a history of, or has been misclassified as having, a mental or physical impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.
- “Is regarded as having an impairment” means (a) has a physical or mental impairment that does not substantially limit major life activities, but is treated by a recipient as constituting such limitation, (b) has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits major life activities only as a result of the attitudes of others toward such impairment; or (c) has none of the impairments defined in section one above, but is treated by a recipient as having such an impairment.
“Major life activities” include functions such as: caring for one’s self, performing manual tasks, seeing, hearing, eating, sleeping, walking, standing, lifting, bending, speaking, breathing, learning, reading, concentrating, thinking, communicating and working (this list is not exhaustive).
Documents and Resources:
- 504 Feedback Survey Link
- Parent and Educator Resource Guide to Section 504
- 504 A Referral to Section 504 Committee
- 504 C Section 504 Rights and Procedural Safeguards – March 2020
- 504 C Section 504 Rights and Procedural Safeguards – Spanish – March 2020
- SECTION 504 QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
- 504 Procedural Manual
- 504 Procedural Manual- Spanish
For information on Section 504, please contact the Section 504 Coordinator assigned to your child’s school or Compliance Officer, Dr. Laura Newton, at 703-228-6061
Section 504 Coordinator Assignments
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