Section § 504
Section § 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 provides opportunity for students with a handicapping condition to receive accommodations in the general education setting. Section § 504 regulations create definitions and criteria for service that is based on functions and not form. For example, the definition of a person with disabilities is any person who (i) has physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities, (ii) has a record of such impairment, or (iii) is regarded as having such an impairment. [34CFR104.3(j)]
Eligibility for Section § 504 accommodations is determined through a referral and evaluation process.
(i) has a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities such as learning in school; caring for one's self; performing manual tasks; walking; seeing; hearing; speaking; sleeping; standing; lifting; bending; reading; learning; eating; concentrating; thinking; communicating; operating major bodily functions; breathing; and working. Impairments may include, but are not limited to:
- Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder
- Communicable Diseases such as:
- Temporary Medical Conditions due to Illness or Accident
- Drug/Alcohol Dependency
- Behavioral Difficulties
- Ongoing Medical Conditions
(ii) has a record or history of such an impairment (such as student previously certified as learning disabled who is no longer eligible for special education; a student who had cancer; a student recovering from a physical illness).
(iii) is regarded as having such impairment. A person can be eligible under this section if she/he:
- has a physical or mental impairment that does not substantially limit a major life activity but is treated by the school district as having such a limitation (such as a student who walks with a limp);
- 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 (such as a student who is obese); or
- has no physical or mental impairment but is treated by the school district as having such an impairment (such as a student who tests positive with the HIV virus but has no physical effects from it).
A person cannot be considered handicapped under Section § 504 solely due to cultural, environmental, or economic factors.