Section 504 & Your Rights

SECTION 504/AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT ACCOMMODATIONS

Students with disabilities, who do not meet the criteria for services under the Committee on Special Education, may meet the criteria for receiving accommodations under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

In order to receive a 504 Accommodation Plan, a student must have a documented disability that impacts on the students education.

The 504 Accommodation Plan is a legal document and accommodations can include, but are not limited to: testing accommodations, program modifications, and a related service.

Parents who suspect that a student may have a disability requiring a 504 Accommodation Plan are encouraged to first explore these issues with appropriate pupil personnel/professional staff (i.e., teachers, guidance counselors, school psychologists, school social workers) who will attempt to remedy academic difficulties on the building level.

If exhaustive and pre-referral interventions do not succeed in helping the student to improve his/her academic standing/progress, parents/guardians are encouraged to proceed with a referral to the Committee on Special Education.

Notice of Rights Under Section 504

You have the right to be informed by the school district of your rights under Section 504. This is a notice of you and your child’s rights under Section 504 and the rights you have if you disagree with the school district’s decisions.

WHAT IS SECTION 504?

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, commonly called “Section 504,” is a federal law that protects students from discrimination based on disability. Section 504 assures that students with disabilities have educational opportunities and benefits equal to those provided to students without disabilities. To be eligible, a student must have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activity.

THE SECTION 504 PROCESS

Your child has the right to an evaluation before the school determines if he or she is eligible under Section 504.

You have the right to: 
-Have evaluation and placement decisions made by a group of persons, often called a “504 team,” including persons who know your child, the meaning of the evaluation information, and the placement options available. -Have evaluation decisions based on a variety of sources, such as aptitude and  achievement tests, teacher recommendations, physical conditions, medical records, and parental observations.

-Receive notice before the district takes any action regarding the identification, evaluation, and placement of your child.

-Refuse consent for the initial evaluation and initial placement of your child. If your child is eligible under Section 504, your child has a right to annual review of the 504 plan as well as periodic re-evaluations, including re-evaluations before any significant change is made in your child’s placement. IF YOU DISAGREE WITH THE DISTRICT’S DECISION If you disagree with the district’s decisions regarding your child’s identification, evaluation, educational program, or placement under Section 504, you may request mediation or an impartial due process hearing. You and your child have the right to take part in the hearing and have an attorney represent you.  Hearing requests and other concerns can be made to the District’s Section 504 Coordinator who can be reached at “Insert Name and Contact Information.” You have the right to file a complaint of discrimination with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR), or to file a complaint in federal court. Generally, an OCR complaint may be filed within 180 calendar days of the act that you believe was discriminatory. The regional office is located at 32 Old Slip, 25th Floor, New York, New York 10005. Phone: 646-428-3906 Website: www2.ed.gov/OCR