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Section 504 Plans

Section 504
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973

What is a Section 504 Plan?

A Section 504 Plan is an accommodation plan that requires classroom teachers and other school staff to provide accommodations and/or services necessary for Section 504 eligible students to participate in and benefit from public education programs and activities. Accommodations may provide support for physical, instructional, or social/emotional nature. Section 504 is a civil rights law that protects the rights of individuals with disabilities. Section 504 is a responsibility of the general education program and requires participation from the general education staff and curriculum.

What is the difference between Section 504 and IDEA/Special Education?

  • Generally all individuals who are disabled under the IDEA are also considered to be entitled to rights and protection under Section 504. However, all individuals who have been determined to be Section 504 eligible may not be IDEA eligible.
  • Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE), is an educational right of children with disabilities in the United States that is guaranteed by the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA).
  • Furthermore, IDEA programs receive State and Federal funding, Section 504 receives no State or Federal funding.

Who qualifies for a Section 504 Plan?

A qualified individual with a disability is a student who:

  1. has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities; and 
  2. has a record of such an impairment or is regarded as having such an impairment.
  • A physical impairment is 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, etc.
  • A mental impairment is any mental or psychological disorder such as mental retardation, organic brain syndrome, emotional or mental illness, and specific learning disabilities.
  • A major life activity is defined as functions such as caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, working, reading, thinking, and concentrating.

How are students identified as being eligible for a Section 504 Plan?

  • In many cases students are referred for review by a Student Success Team (SST), Coordinated Care Team (CCT), Positive Behavior Team (PBT) or Individualized Education Program (IEP) Team.
  • Your Section 504 Coordinator will convene a team to determine eligibility.
  • The school must complete the Section 504 Evaluation for Eligibility worksheet. Evaluation material can include: formal & informal test results, aptitude and achievement tests, observations and anecdotal records, attendance and behavior records, medical reports, grades/transcripts, teacher reports, and recommendations.
  • A student meets the eligibility requirements under Section 504 if the site team determines that:
  1. there is evidence of a physical or mental impairment and can establish the basis for their determination; and
  2. there is evidence of a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits a major life activity.

In what areas do schools provide accommodations for Section 504?

  • Physical arrangement of room
  • Instruction
  • Assignments
  • Test taking
  • Class assignment/daily schedule
  • Organization and study skills
  • Behavior management
  • Accommodation provided by parents/guardians at home
  • Health Issues such as:
    • ADHD
    • Anxiety
    • Arthritis/Muscle/Orthopedic Issues
    • Asthma
    • Cerebral Palsy
    • Compromised Immune System
    • Diabetes
    • Food Allergies
    • Seizure disorder

*** Please contact your student’s school administrator for more information.

Contact

Linda Pete
Administrator, Student Services
petel@mdusd.org
(925) 682-8000 x4061

Linda Faix 
Sr. Secretary
(925) 682-8000 x4025
faixl@mdusd.org