As part of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Section 504 prohibits discrimination against students with disabilities. Students between the ages of three and 21 years, with a mental or physical impairment that substantially limits a major life activity, may qualify. Learning and school performance is considered a major life activity under this law. Other major life activities include, but are not limited to, seeing, hearing, breathing, walking, speaking, concentrating, and communicating. Under Section 504, the district provides for accommodations to allow students to participate in their educational setting.
Disabilities may include, but are not limited to, diabetes, allergies, physical impairments that affect mobility and communication, epilepsy, ADHD, and vision or hearing problems.
Accommodations may include, but are not limited to, extra time on assignments and tests, assistance in mobility within the school building, preferential seating, shortened assignments, highlighted textbooks, or individual behavior contracts.
To be considered for Section 504 eligibility, a student must be referred to the school-based 504 team; that is, “a group of persons knowledgeable about the student” who will conduct a screening and, possibly, an evaluation. Evaluation may be formal or informal, including reviews of outside information such as a doctor’s report. If the student qualifies, a plan will be developed that addresses the student’s needs. Parental permission will be obtained before a formal evaluation or implementation of a Section 504 plan. Students who are qualified for special education automatically come under the protection of Section 504 and their plan is embedded in their IEP (Individualized Education Plan).Homeless students or youth, including early childhood-aged children, who lack a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence may qualify for Section 504 services. Please contact the district Homeless Liaison, Peter Woodbrook at (206)463-8627.If you feel that your child may qualify for consideration under Section 504, please contact your child’s building school counselor or the district’s Section 504 Coordinator in the Special Services office at (206)463-8532.