As part of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Section 504 prohibits discrimination against students with disabilities. Students between the ages of 3 to 21 years old with a mental or physical impairment, or who have a history of an impairment, or are regarded as having an impairment that affects a major life activity may qualify. Learning and school performance is considered a major life activity under this law. Under Section 504, the district provides for reasonable accommodations to allow students to participate in their educational setting.
Disabilities may include but are not limited to diabetes, allergies, physical impairments that affect mobility and communication, epilepsy, and vision or hearing problems.
Accommodations may include but are not limited to extra time on assignments and tests, assistance in mobility within the school building, preferential seating, highlighted textbooks, or individual behavior contracts.
To be considered for Section 504 a student must be referred to a group of persons knowledgeable about the child who will conduct an evaluation. Evaluation may be formal or informal, including reviews of outside information such as a doctor’s report. If the student qualifies, a plan will be developed that addresses the student’s needs. Parental permission will be obtained before any evaluation or development of a Section 504 plan. Students who are qualified for special education automatically come under the protection of Section 504 and their plan is embedded in their IEP.
Homeless students or youth, including early childhood aged students, who lack a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence may qualify for Section 504 services. For more information please contact the district Homeless Liaison, Dori Berge, at (360) 277-2395.
If you feel that your child may qualify for consideration under Section 504, please contact your child’s building school counselor or the Special Services Office at (360) 277-2111.