•  PURPOSE OF SECTION 504

    Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, is a federal civil rights statute which protects the rights of persons with disabilities. Section 504 prohibits discrimination against disabled persons, including both students and staff members, by school districts receiving federal financial assistance. Included in the U.S. Department of Education regulations for Section 504 is the requirement that disabled students be provided with free appropriate public education (FAPE). These regulations require identification, evaluation, the provision of appropriate services, and procedural safeguards.

    Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 requires that:

    No otherwise qualified individual with a disability in the United States…shall, solely by reason of her/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…

    Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 requires that:

    No otherwise qualified individual with a disability in the United States…shall, solely by reason of her/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…

    •   Who is a qualified individual?

      • A qualified individual, for school districts, is defined by 34CFR §104.3(k), §104.38 as,   any 

        child eligible for a district’s public education program.

    •   Who is eligible for services?

      • An eligible student is a student who (a) has, (b) has a record of having, or (c) is regarded as having, a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits a major life activity such as learning.

    •   Who is considered to have a disability?

      • There are three ways that a person may qualify under the regulations. A person is considered to have a disability under Section 504 if he/she meets one or more of the following definitions:

    (1)   has a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities (e.g., any student receiving services under the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act IDEA), students with drug or alcohol addictions, students with diabetes). The term does not cover children disadvantaged by cultural, environmental, or economic factors. Analysis of 34 CFR 104.3

    (2)   has a record or history of such an impairment (e.g., a student with learning disabilities who is no longer eligible to receive special education under IDEA, a student who had cancer, a student in recovery).

    (3)   is regarded as having such an impairment. A person can be found eligible under this section if she/he:

    (a)   has physical or mental impairment that does not substantially limit a major life activity but is treated by the district as having such a limitation (e.g., a student who walks with a limp);

    (b)   has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity only as a result of the attitudes of others towards such impairment (e.g., learning activities); or

    (c)   has no physical or mental impairment but is treated by the district as having such an impairment (e.g., a student who tests positive with the HIV virus but has no physical effects from it).

    •   What is a "major life activity"?

      • Major life activities include walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, working, caring for oneself, and performing manual tasks. The disability must substantially limit learning activities for the student to be eligible for 504 educational services (34 CFR § 104.3(1)). This activity need not be related to learning to come under the protection of Section 504. The determination of whether an impairment is "substantially limiting” must be made on a case-by-case basis by the Section 504 Review Committee. The nature, severity, duration, and permanence of the impairment should be taken into consideration.

    •   What is a program or activity?

      • The term includes all programs or activities of school districts. For example, if a district subsidizes or provides an after school academic or athletic program, the district must ensure that a student with disabilities has an equal opportunity to participate in the program. 34 CFR § 104.3(f); Civil Rights Restoration Act of 1988 (PL 100-259)

        DISD Procedures for 504 Identification

    DISD Procedures for 504 Identification

    All Referrals for Section 504 consideration will be processed through each campus RtI  Team. 

    • Teacher/parent or other concerned person refers a student to the DISD RtI Team.

    • RtI Team Decisions: After reviewing all information, the team may decide:

      • To continue to monitor student and their progress;

      • To make recommendations for interventions to the classroom teacher and/or other campus personnel;

      • To refer the student to:

        • ESL program,

        • Remedial Programs such as Title I,

        • Dyslexia screening

        • Gifted and Talented,

        • Special Education Evaluation,

        • Or other services

        • To initiate a referral for 504 evaluation.

       

    • The decision of the RtI team will be communicated in writing to the parent. If the Team decides to refer the student to the 504 committee, the team will forward all information to the 504 campus coordinator.

    • Campus 504 coordinator contacts parent and sends Notice of Parent Rights (English) or Notice of Parent Rights (Spanish), and RtI parent Information 
    •  The following will be completed/updated if not contained in the forwarded RtI Team information:

    §         Parent information

    §         Health Information Form to be completed by the school Nurse.

    §         Section 504 Committee/Teacher Information.

    §         Classroom Observation

    • The Campus 504 coordinator sets up a 504 committee meeting including teacher(s), parent(s), counselor and administrator.  It is the choice of the parent whether or not to attend this meeting.
    • The 504 Committee will meet to discuss 504 eligibility.  According to Federal guidelines, if it is determined that the student meets eligibility requirements, the committee will develop an Individual Accommodation Plan (IAP).  If the student does not meet eligibility guidelines, the committee will make intervention recommendations to the parent and teacher.
    • The committee will complete and sign the 504 Committee Meeting Report.
    • Copies of the IAP will be distributed to student’s teachers.
    • The committee will complete and send the Notice of Committee Decision to the child’s parent/guardian within 10 school days of the 504 Committee Meeting.
    • The 504 Committee Meeting Report will be filed in the student’s cumulative folder.
    • A copy of the Committee Meeting Report and all other 504 documents will be stored in student’s yellow 504 folder and retained in the counselor’s office and copies forwarded to the 504 District Coordinator.
    •  Accommodations for all identified 504 students will be re-evaluated and re-examined on a yearly basis.