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Civil Rights Laws: Section 504

Title VI & Title IX

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 protects the rights of individuals with disabilities in programs and activities that receive federal financial assistance. The Act defines a person with a disability as anyone who:

  • Has a mental or physical impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities; (Major life activities include activities such as caring for one’s self, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning and working.)
  • has a record of such an impairment; or
  • is regarded as having such an impairment.

The school district has specific responsibilities under the Act, which include the responsibility to identify, evaluate, and if the child is determined to be eligible under Section 504, to afford access to appropriate educational services.

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.

Section 504 is enforced by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights (OCR).

For further assistance on any matters related to Civil Rights Laws / Section 504, please contact Kara Westerman, Director of Student Services.