Section 504


  • Section 504 is a part of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 that prohibits discrimination based on disability. It is a federal anti-discrimination, civil rights statute that requires the needs of students with disabilities to be met as adequately as the needs of their non-disabled peers.  Section 504 prohibits discrimination against disabled individuals by school districts receiving federal financial assistance.  It requires that schools provide access to a “free, appropriate public education” (FAPE) for disabled students.

    Section 504 states that:  “No otherwise qualified individual with a disability in the United States, as defined in section 706(8) of this title, shall, solely by reason of her or 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…” [29 U.S.C. §794(a), 34 C.F.R. §104.4(a)].

    Students protected under Section 504
    Section 504 covers qualified students with disabilities who attend schools receiving Federal financial assistance. To be protected under Section 504, a student must be determined to: (1) have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities; or (2) have a record of such an impairment; or (3) be regarded as having such an impairment. Section 504 requires that school districts provide a free appropriate public education (FAPE) to qualified students in their jurisdictions who have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities. For more details, please refer to the United States Department of Education Section 504 Frequently Asked Questions document.

    Evaluation
    At the elementary and secondary school level, determining whether a child is a qualified disabled student under Section 504 begins with the evaluation process. Section 504 requires the use of evaluation procedures that ensure that children are not misclassified, unnecessarily labeled as having a disability, or incorrectly placed, based on inappropriate selection, administration, or interpretation of evaluation materials. For more details, please refer to the United States Department of Education Section 504 Frequently Asked Questions document.

    Each CISD campus has a school-level Section 504 Coordinator who is responsible for coordinating  identification, evaluation, and placement decisions for students who are eligible under Section 504.  Families may contact the campus Section 504 Coordinator/Counselor for more information on Section 504 Services.

    Placement
    Once a student is identified as being eligible for regular or special education and related aids or services, a decision must be made regarding the type of services the student needs. For more details, please refer to the United States Department of Education Section 504 Frequently Asked Questions document.

    Procedural Safeguards
    Public elementary and secondary schools must employ procedural safeguards regarding the identification, evaluation, or educational placement of persons who, because of disability, need or are believed to need special instruction or related services. For more details, please refer to the United States Department of Education Section 504 Frequently Asked Questions document and CISD Notice of Parent and Student Rights Under Section 504. (below)

    CISD: Notice of Parent and Student Rights Under Section 504 (Procedural Safeguards)
    CISD: Board Policy- Equal Educational Opportunity
    CISD: Child Find
    Texas Education Agency: Section 504 Family Fact Sheet
    Texas Education Agency: Section 504 Technical Assistance Guide (Updated 9/21/21)
    Texas Education Agency: Section 504 Webinar
    United States Department of Education: Section 504 Parent and Educator Resource Guide
    United States Department of Education: Section 504 Resources in Languages Other than English
    United States Department of Education: Section 504 Frequently Asked Questions
    United States Department of Education: Postsecondary Education

     

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