blank'/> Promoting Success: What about Section 504? Who Qualifies?
         

Monday, January 19, 2009

What about Section 504? Who Qualifies?


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Section 504 is a federal law designed to protect the rights of individuals with disabilities in programs and activities that receive federal funds from the U.S. Department of Education (ED). Section 504 provides: "No otherwise qualified individual with a disability in the United States . . . shall solely by reason 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 financial assistance . . . ."

What services are available for students who qualify under Section 504?

Section 504 requires recipients to provide to students with disabilities appropriate educational services designed to meet the individual needs of such students to the same extent as the needs of students without disabilities are met. An appropriate education for a student with a disability under the Section 504 regulations could consist of education in regular classrooms, education in regular classes with supplementary services, and/or special education and related services.

What is a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity?

The determination of whether a student has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity must be made on the basis of an individual inquiry. The Section 504 regulation, 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. The regulation does not set forth an exhaustive list of specific diseases and conditions that may constitute physical or mental impairments because of the difficulty of ensuring the comprehensiveness of such a list.

Does a medical diagnosis of an illness automatically qualify a student for services under Section 504?

No. A medical diagnosis of an illness does not automatically qualify a student for services under Section 504. The illness must cause a substantial limitation on the student's ability to learn or other major life activities. For example, a student who has a physical or mental impairment would not be considered a student in need of services under Section 504 if the impairment does not in any way limit the student's ability to learn or other major life activity, or only results in some minor limitation in that regard.

Click HERE for more information from the U.S. Department of Education.

Click HERE for more information from Wrightslaw.

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You may also like these autism and special education resources from our TpT store:

For a checklist of 175+ accommodations, click the picture:






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You may also like these Section 504 resources from our Amazon Associate store:


 Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act: Students with Disabilities, 2nd Edition


 Section 504: Classroom Accommodations Pamphlet

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Shelly Anton is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. ** This means there are Amazon affiliate links in these blog posts. This does not mean you pay a dime more when you purchase a product through the link. It just means I am trying to save you valuable teacher time by making it easier for you to find valuable resources for your students, and I earn a few cents for my research and time. Thank you for all you do for kids!

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