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What is Section 504?

The Rehabilitation Act of 1973, commonly known in schools as “Section 504,” is a federal law passed by the United States Congress with the purpose of prohibiting discrimination against disabled persons who may participate in, or receive benefits from, programs receiving federal financial assistance. In the public schools specifically, §504 applies to ensure that eligible disabled students are provided with educational benefits and opportunities equal to those provided to non-disabled students.

Under §504, a student is considered “disabled” if he or she has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities. Section 504 also protects students with a record of an impairment, or who are regarded as having an impairment from discrimination on the basis of disability. Students can be considered disabled, and can receive services under §504, including regular or special education and related aids and services, even if they do not qualify for, or receive, special education services under the IDEA.

Determination of Eligibility

To determine eligibility under Section 504, the committee of knowledgeable persons must consider all the following questions:

1. Does the learner have a physical or mental impairment?

2. Does the physical or mental impairment affect one or more major life activities including major bodily functions?

3. Does the physical or mental impairment substantially limit a major life activity? It is important to specifically identify what the substantial limitations are and how they impact learner performance and progress.

4. Does the learner require Section 504 services in order for his/her educational needs to be met as adequately as those of non-disabled peers.

Want to Learn More?

Section 504 Parent Information 

Section 504 Information Graphic

Updates in Special Education-Texas Education Agency

Updates in Special Education (Spanish)-Texas Education Agency

District Contact for Section 504

Katy Hill

Director of 504 & Intervention Services