Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is a civil rights law designed to eliminate discrimination on the basis of disability in any program activity receiving Federal assistance. It guarantees certain rights to individuals with disabilities, including the right to full participation and access to a free and appropriate public education (FAPE) to all children regardless of the nature or severity of the disability. Section 504 requires the provision of appropriate educational services that are designed to meet the individual needs of qualified students to the same extent that the needs of students without a disability are met. To qualify, a student must be determined to have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activity including learning and behavior; have a record of having such an impairment OR be regarded as having such impairment. It ensures that a qualified child has equal access to education, and may receive appropriate accommodations and modifications tailored to the child’s individual needs. Appropriate accommodations could entail education in regular classrooms, education in regular classrooms with supplementary modifications and/or accommodations, special education and related services OR any combination. To receive services under 504, a child must have a disability that limits one or more major life functions, including education, learning and behavior. Parents seeking to have their child receive services under Section 504 must submit a request in writing to the school asking for an evaluation to determine if there is a significant impact on your child’s learning or behavior, and request a copy of your school district’s policies and procedures on Section 504 from the Special Education Department at 348-5125.
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