The Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, most recently amended through American with Disabilities Act in 2008 to define a disability, protects the right of individuals with disabilities in programs and activities that receive federal funding. The individual must have a physical or mental impairment, record of such impairment or regarded as having an impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities. The major life activities include but are not limited to: caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, working, eating, sleeping, standing, lifting, bending, reading concentrating, thinking, communicating and major bodily functions.
In schools, Section 504 provides "access" to education with needed accommodations because of the impact the disability has on the child's educational performance. These services are designed to meet the individual needs of handicapped persons as adequately as the needs of non-handicapped persons. It eliminates barriers that would prevent the child from participating in programs or services offered to all children. Section 504 is an anti-discrimination law and does not provide any additional funding to the school district.
In most cases, if you suspect that a child may qualify for a Section 504 plan, please contact the School Psychologist or Principal. An evaluation may be conducted at the child’s school with a team that determines eligibility and an appropriate plan. Each individual school district establishes standards and procedures for initial and re-evaluations. In KUSD, every year the Evaluation and Determination is made for existing Section 504 children and if the child continues to be eligible, the Accommodation Plan is reviewed and updated.