What is Section 504?
Section 504 is part of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which prohibits discrimination against persons with a disability in any program receiving 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 activity (major life activities such as caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, working, eating, sleeping, standing, lifting, bending, reading, concentrating, thinking, communicating, and operation of a major bodily function);
- has a record of such impairment; or
- is regarded as having such an impairment.
To comply with the prohibition against discrimination, school districts must provide a “Free Appropriate Public Education” (FAPE) with reasonable accommodations to students with disabilities when needed. To qualify for Section 504 protections, a student must meet the first criterion stated in the above definition (i.e., the student must have an actual disability that presently substantially limits a major life activity).
In order to fulfill its obligation under Section 504, Kent City Community Schools recognizes a responsibility to avoid discrimination in policies and practices regarding its personnel and students. No discrimination against an otherwise qualified person with a disability will knowingly be permitted in programs and practices within the school district.
The school district has specific responsibilities under the Act, which include the responsibility to identify, evaluate, determine eligibility and, if the child is determined to be eligible under Section 504, to afford access to appropriate educational services.
If the parent or guardian disagrees with the determination made by the professional staff of the school district, he/she has a right to an impartial hearing in accordance with the formal grievance procedures.
If there are questions, please feel free to contact the building 504 Coordinator.