Section 504 Law / 504 Plans

Section 504 Law / 504 Plans

504 Plans for Students with Disabilities

Section 504 prohibits discrimination against individuals, including students with disabilities. A 504 plan provides accommodations that allow the individual to access education, services, programs, activities, and facilities benefitting them the same as their non-disabled peers

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IEP vs. 504 Plan: What is the Difference?

Watch as parent advocate Amanda Morin explains the differences between an IEP and a 504 plan. For example, an IEP is governed by special education law while a 504 Plan is governed by civil rights law. “A 504 Plan, or an IEP, can meet your child’s needs,” says Amanda.

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Comparison of Section 504 and IDEA

This chart outlines Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and its comparison to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

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Parent and Educator Resource Guide to Section 504 in Public Elementary and Secondary Schools

This resource from the US Department of Education is intended to guide and help parents of students with disabilities understand the obligations imposed under Section 504. In particular, the resource guide summarizes key requirements of Section 504, and aims to increase understanding of these requirements for both parents and members of the school community alike

View the US Department of Education's PDF

Protecting Students With Disabilities: Section 504 FAQ

An important responsibility of the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) is to eliminate discrimination on the basis of disability against students with disabilities. OCR receives numerous complaints and inquiries in the area of elementary and secondary education involving Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, 29 U.S.C. § 794 (Section 504). Most of these concern identification of students who are protected by Section 504 and the means to obtain an appropriate education for such students.

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Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE)

All school-age children with disabilities who are eligible for a 504 or an Individualized Education Program (IEP) are entitled to a Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE). FAPE requires students with disabilities receive the services they need to benefit from their education.

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Supporting Students with Disabilities and Avoiding the Discriminatory Use of Student Discipline Under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973

This Fact Sheet summarizes public schools’ obligations under Section 504.

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School Accommodation Ideas for Students who Receive Section 504 or Special Education Services

Students with disabilities who receive Section 504 or special education services often need accommodations to their educational programs. For special education students, accommodations help a student accomplish Individualized Education Program (IEP) goals, participate and make progress in the general curriculum, participate and be educated with students with and without disabilities, and participate in extracurricular activities. For students with a Section 504 plan, accommodations are used to eliminate barriers to full participation in school activities.

Read the PACER Center PDF

How to File a Complaint with the Office for Civil Rights (OCR)

This brief 5 minute YouTube Video from the U.S. Department of Education summarizes how to file a complaint with the Office for Civil Rights.

Watch the U.S. Department of Education's YouTube Video

How to File a Discrimination Complaint with the Office for Civil Rights

Educational institutions have a responsibility to protect every student's right to learn in a safe environment free from unlawful discrimination and to prevent unjust deprivations of that right. The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) enforces five federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability and age in programs or activities that receive federal financial assistance from the Department of Education.

Learn More at the U.S. Department of Education

How to Report Bullying to School / Sample Letter

Learn about the options for reporting a bullying incident to the school along with a sample letter that includes the important details to include about the situation.

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Students with Disabilities Preparing for Postsecondary Education: Know Your Rights and Responsibilities

The information in this pamphlet, provided by the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) in the U. S. Department of Education, explains the rights and responsibilities of students with disabilities who are preparing to attend postsecondary schools. This pamphlet also explains the obligations of a postsecondary school to provide academic adjustments, including auxiliary aids and services, to ensure the school does not discriminate on the basis of disability.

Visit the OCR Website