Director of Special Education
205 Civic Center Drive
Thomaston, GA 30285
What is Section 504?
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is a civil rights law designed to prohibit disability-based discrimination in any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance. Section 504 guarantees certain rights to individuals with disabilities, including the right to full participation and access to a "free and appropriate public education" (FAPE) to all children regardless of the nature or severity of the disability. Section 504 ensures that a qualified child with a disability has equal access to education. The child may receive appropriate accommodations and modifications tailored to the child's individual needs.
Section 504 states:
"No otherwise qualified individual with a disability in the United States... shall, solely by reason of her or his disability, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance."
Section 504 FAQs
Who qualifies for services under Section 504?
To qualify under Section 504 a student must:
- Be determined to have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities including learning and behavior.
- Have a record of having such an impairment or
- Be regarded as having such impairment.
What is an impairment as defined by Section 504?
An impairment may include any disability, long-term illness, or various disorder that substantially reduces a student's ability to access learning in the educational setting. Impairments may include (but are not limited to) ADD, AD/HD, dyslexia, cancer, diabetes, severe allergies, chronic asthma, Tourette's Syndrome, digestive disorders, cardiovascular disorders, depression, conduct disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, HIV/AIDS, behavior disorders, and even temporary disabilities.
What types of accommodations are provided under Section 504?
Accommodations are determined on an individual basis the nature of the disabling condition and what the student may need in order to have an equal opportunity as compared to peers without disabilities.