I am the designated Section 504 coordinator for our campus. This means I
am in charge of gathering information for the 504 committee when a request
has been made by a parent or teacher regarding the eligibility of a student
for Section 504. I also schedule and attend the 504 committee meeting which
then decides if a student qualifies for Section 504. Section 504 is not a
part of Special Education. Below are some frequently asked questions
regarding Section 504 that may help clarify what it is and who is eligible.
WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF SECTION 504?
Section 504's main emphasis is equal educational opportunity which is mainly
accomplished by providing appropriate classroom accommodations to eligible
WHO IS DISABLED UNDER SECTION 504?
An eligible Section 504 student is one with
(1) a physical or mental impairment
(2) that substantially limits learning or another major life activity
(breathing, seeing, hearing, walking, working, performing manual tasks, etc)
WHAT IS THE ROLE OF SECTION 504 IN THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS?
Section 504 is a vehicle through which schools provide necessary
accommodations to students with disabilities that are not severe enough to
qualify them for special education, but which nevertheless are substantially
limiting their learning or other major life activities.
CAN A STUDENT BE DISABLED BUT NOT QUALIFY FOR ACCOMODATIONS UNDER SECTION 504?
Since some disabled students may not be substantially limited in learning or
another major life activity related to school by their disability, not all
students with diabilities will necessarily be eligible for accomodations
under Section 504. If a student with disabilities is able to function
adequately in the school setting, they may not be substantially limited, and
thus, not eligible for special accomodations under Section 504.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN IF A STUDENT IS "PLACED" IN SECTION 504?
In the Section 504 context, "placement" simply means the regular education
classroom with individually planned accommodations. It does not literally
mean taking the child out of the regular classroom and putting him/her
someplace else. Students served under Section 504 will most likely not
need high levels of accommodations or seperate classes.