Section 504

A free and appropriate public education (FAPE) shall be provided for each child determined to be in need of special education and/or related services. Students may be identified as disabled and eligible for special education services under the Individual with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEIA, 2004). Others may be identified as disabled under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. A student identified as disabled under Section 504 may be eligible for services if he or she has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits learning or another major life activity.

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is a federal law which prohibits discrimination against persons with a handicap in any program receiving federal financial assistance. The Act defines a person with a handicap as anyone who:

  • Has a mental or physical impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities (major life activities include caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, and working);

  • Has record of such impairment; or

  • Is regarded as having such an impairment.

Referral and Evaluation Process

If you suspect your child has a physical or mental impairment under Section 504, you may refer your child for an evaluation. School personnel may also refer a student for an evaluation under Section 504 if they believe the student to be handicapped.

An evaluation will be completed by a group of persons knowledgeable about the student and may include teachers, specialists, and/or administrators. The team shall draw upon information from a variety of sources, including aptitude and achievement tests, teacher recommendations, physical condition, social and cultural background and adaptive behavior. After reviewing the gathered information, the team will document and determine whether the student has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity and would make the student eligible to receive services under Section 504. 

504 Plan

If the student is identified as disabled under Section 504, the team shall design a Section 504 accommodation plan to address the student’s academic, non-academic, and/or extracurricular needs.

The team shall conduct a periodic re-evaluation of students receiving services under a Section 504 plan. If the team determines that the student continues to qualify under Section 504, a new plan will be developed.

Procedural Safeguards

Parents are entitled to receive notice with respect to identification, evaluation, or placement of their child under Section 504. Parents are also guaranteed the right to examine all relevant records relating to decisions regarding the child’s identification, evaluation, educational program, and placement. Copies of those educational records may be obtained by the parents at a reasonable cost unless the fee would effectively deny parents access to the records. 

Parents who disagree with the team’s actions regarding identification, evaluation, or educational placement of the child have the right to request an impartial hearing as described in the Section 504 Procedural Safeguards Policy

For further information about Section 504, please contact the Section 504 District Coordinator, Chief Student Services Officer, Upper Arlington City Schools, 614-487-5197.

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