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  • Section 504

Section 504

Section 504 is an Act which prohibits discrimination against persons with a disability in any program in school districts receiving Federal financial assistance. The Act defines a person with a disability as anyone who:

  1. Has a mental or physical impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities which includes: Caring for one’s self, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, working, eating, sleeping, standing, lifting, bending, reading, concentrating, thinking and communicating. Other major life activities include major bodily functions, such as functions of the immune system, normal cell growth, and digestive, bowel, bladder, neurological, brain, respiratory, circulatory, endocrine and reproductive functions; and
  2. Has a record of such an impairment; and/or
  3. Is regarded as having such an impairment

Section 504 FAQs

What is a “Physical Impairment”?
“Physical impairment” includes any physiological disorder or condition, cosmetic disfigurement or anatomical loss affecting one or more of the following body systems: Neurological; musculoskeletal; special-sense organs; genitor-urinary, hermic and lymphatic; skin; endocrine and reproductive.

What is “Mental Impairment”?
“Mental impairment” includes any mental or psychological disorder, such as mental retardation, organic brain syndrome, emotional or mental illness and specific learning disabilities.

What does “Substantially Limits” mean?
The term “substantially limits” means significantly restricting the condition, manner, or duration under which a student can perform a particular major life activity compared to the average student.

What are "reasonable accommodations?"
A term used, in the employment context, to refer to modifications or adjustments employers make to a job application process, the work environment, the manner or circumstances under which the position held or desired is customarily performed or that enable a covered entity's employee with a disability to enjoy equal benefits and privileges of employment; this term is sometimes used incorrectly to refer to related aids and services in the elementary and secondary school context or to refer to academic adjustments, reasonable modifications and auxiliary aids and services in the postsecondary school context.

When should a student’s Section 504 Accommodation Plan be reviewed?
A student’s Section 504 Accommodation Plan should be renewed annually if there is a significant change in placement or at the request of the parents/guardians or the student’s teachers (if necessary and reasonable).