Section 504 Law / 504 Plans

Frequently Asked Questions About Section 504

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability. This law applies to public elementary and secondary schools, among other entities. Any organization receiving federal financial assistance is forbidden from denying an individual's right to participate in, and have access to, program benefits and services. Each school district should have a 504 Procedures Guide or Policy Manual available for families and a staff designated as the 504 Coordinator.

Learn More at the U.S. Department of Education

Sample Letter Requesting a 504

Under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act an individual with a disability is defined as a person who: 1)has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity; 2)has a record of such an impairment or 3)is regarded as having such an impairment. In schools, Section 504 takes shape in the form of a plan for how a school will support a student with a disability and remove barriers to learning. The goal of a 504 plan is to give the student equal access at school and school activities.

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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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Free and Appropriate Public Education for Students with Disabilities: Requirements Under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 protects the rights of individuals with disabilities in programs and activities that receive federal financial assistance, including federal funds. Section 504 provides that: "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 . . ."

Learn More from the U.S. Department of Education

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.

Learn more from ASK Resource Center