Section 504 of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act is a civil rights law that prohibits the discrimination on the basis of disability. The law applies to public elementary and secondary schools and other federally funded institutions. Under Section 504, denying a disabled student a free appropriate
public education constitutes disability discrimination.
How and when would a student qualify as a disabled student under Section 504?
A school-aged student is considered disabled under Section 504 if the student:
Has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities. Major life activities include, but are not limited to, caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, seeing, hearing, eating, sleeping, walking, standing, lifting, bending, speaking, breathing, learning, reading, concentrating, thinking, communicating, and working.
Major life activities also include the operation of a major bodily function, including but not limited to, functions of the immune system, normal cell growth, digestive, bowel, bladder, neurological, brain, respiratory, circulatory, endocrine, and reproductive functions.
How does a student get referred for a Section 504 Evaluation?
Any person can refer a student for evaluation under Section 504. Parents, guardians, and school staff should refer a student for evaluation if they know or suspect that, due to a physical or mental impairment, a student needs
accommodations to participate in or benefit from a district's education program.
What is a Section 504 plan?
A 504 plan is a written plan that describes the educational and related aids and services that a district determines a student needs to receive a Free and Appropriate Public Education. The content of a 504 plan may change within a school year or between school years as a students needs and services change. For a student whose only disability is a life-threatening health condition, an individual health plan or nursing care plan may serve as the students 504 plan. A district must provide the services identified in a student's 504 plan.
The Puget Sound ESD has developed the Parent and Educator Guide to Free Appropriate Public Education Guide, which are available through the links below.
More information about student rights under Section 504 are outlined on the
Notice of Parent/Guardian and Student Rights for Section 504.
For information about Special Education Services please visit our Special Education web page.
Contact Jennifer Kirsch