Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 states, “No otherwise qualified individual with a disability, shall, solely by reason of her or his disability be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”
To understand Section 504 better, a student may have a disability (or the perception of a disability), but does not meet the state eligibility requirements for IDEA to receive special education services. That student may still qualify for accommodations and/or modification based on their disability. For example, a student may have ADHD, but does not meet the state eligibility requirements for special education services through a learning disability (PC), physical disability, emotional disturbance or traumatic brain injury. That students may qualify for Section 504 and be eligible for accommodations such as modified assignments, grading, extended time, etc.
When an impairment limits a major life activity, the individual may qualify for protection under Section 504. Major life activities include functions such as caring for one’s self, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, and working. When an impairment does not substantially limit a major life activity, the individual qualify under Section 504.
If a the Woodland Park School District has reason to believe that, because of a disability as defined under Section 504, a student needs special accommodations or services in the general education setting in order to participate equally in the school program, the District must evaluate the student. If it is determined that the student is disabled under Section 504, the District must develop a plan and implement the delivery of needed services through general education.
Following is an example of some of the types of disabilities that may qualify for Section 504: AIDS, Allergies (may limit major life activity of breathing & interfere), arthritis, asthma, ADD, ADHD, cancer, cerebral palsy, drugs & alcohol (if student is not currently using drugs or alcohol and is in rehabilitation), emotionally disturbed, epilepsy, leukemia, learning disability, obesity, orthopedically impaired, parent with a hearing impairment, pregnancy, socially maladjusted, student formerly received special education, student with special health care needs, temporarily disabled, Tourette’s syndrome, traumatic brain injury, and tuberculosis.
Examples of types of accommodations might include (but are not limited to):
*provide structured learning environment
*adjust class schedules
*utilize class aides and note takers
*use of study carrel
*modify test delivery
*use of tape recorders, computer aides, calculators, etc.
*modified textbooks or workbooks
*reduce homework assignments
*provide peer tutoring
*set time expectations
*break up tasks into shorter manageable sections
*highlight main ideas in textbooks
*use behavior management techniques
*positive reinforcements, consequences
*home/school communication system
*daily/weekly progress report
*give both oral and visual directions
*vary method of lesson presentation
*provide oral testing
*ask student to repeat directions
*arrange for a mentor
*repeat and simplify instructions
*use of graphic organizers
*adjust attendance policies
*develop health care plan
*provide education and support for peers on disability, disease, death
*provide peer support group
*adapt physical education curriculum where physically unable to participate
*provide rest periods
*allow extra time between classes
*have a buddy help carry books
*shorter school day
*FM system for student with hearing