Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973

  • To be eligible to receive accommodations under Section 504 the following must be determined:

    1. The person has a physical or mental impairment, has a record of such an impairment and/or is regarded as having such an impairment.

    2. The impairment substantially limits one or more major life activities, which adversely affects the student in the educational environment.

    If you believe a student is eligible for accommodations under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, please contact the student’s school nurse and/or principal to request a team meeting to consider the need for evaluation. 


    Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973

    Section 504 was the first federal Civil Rights Law to protect the rights of people with disabilities. It prohibits discrimination in:

    • the education of students with disabilities
    • vocational education programs
    • college programs and other post-secondary education programs
    • employment
    • health, welfare, and other social service programs; and • other programs and activities that receive federal funds.


    Section 504 requires an evaluation to determine whether or not your child meets the criteria to be eligible for services under Section 504. If your child is eligible for services under Section 504, the school district is required to provide access to an appropriate education. This may mean modifying the regular education program and providing any necessary services. These services might include reducing the amount of required work, completing fewer assignments in a shorter period of time, providing more visual instruction, and/or developing behavioral interventions.

    This legislation is relevant to schools because all schools receive federal funds. Therefore, they cannot exclude or discriminate against children and adolescents on the basis of a disability. Schools are required to (a) have written policies and procedures regarding Section 504 and (b) make reasonable accommodations to make programs accessible to children with disabilities. You may contact your local school district administrator regarding Section 504 issues. (For more information about Section 504, you may contact the Office of Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education, 111 North Canal, Chicago, IL 60606.)