Section 504 and special education (IDEA) are two service options for children with disabilities. All school districts should have a Section 504 Coordinator to answer your questions regarding specific Section 504 services.
How does Section 504 define “Appropriate Education”?
A free appropriate public education is one provided by the elementary or secondary school that includes general or special education and related aids and services that 1) are designed to meet the individual educational needs of an eligible student with a disability as adequately as the needs of an eligible student who is non-disabled are met and 2) are based on adherence to evaluation, placement and procedural safeguard requirements.
How does Section 504 define eligibility?
Section 504 protects students from discrimination based on their disability status. A student is eligible for accommodations under Section 504 if the student has intellectual or physical impairment that substantially limits one or more of a student’s major life activities that impact education.
The determination of what accommodations are needed must be made by a group of persons knowledgeable about the student and also about the disability. This usually involves the school principal, classroom teacher(s) and other educators working with your child. The parent should be included in the process. The group will review the nature of the disability and how it affects the student’s education. The decisions about Section 504 eligibility and services should be documented in the student’s file and reviewed periodically.
What does making accommodations mean?
Accommodations are made by the classroom teacher(s) and other school staff to help students benefit from their educational program. In some cases, a written plan will be developed outlining accommodations. Accommodations need to take into account both the functional limitations of the individual and alternative methods of performing tasks or activities to participate without jeopardizing the outcome.
Online Section 504 Training and Videos
- Section 504: Services for Students in Public Schools Video Series
- Section 504 In Action
- IEP vs. Section 504 Plans: Which Is Right for My Child?
- Section 504 Review and Students with Medical Disabilities
- Student Led Section 504 Plans
- Practical Ideas for Using Assistive Technology to Make Accommodations for Students with Disabilities
- Executive Functioning
Related information for Section 504:
- Utah State Office of Education’s A Parent Guide to Section 504 (2012)
- What is a Section 504 Plan and Does My Student Qualify for One?
- 100 Effective Accommodations
- Section 504 and Field Trips
- Section 504 vs. IDEA Chart
- Accommodations for Students Under Section 504
- Frequently Asked Questions: Special Education and Section 504 Services
- Tips on Preparing Your Child for College
- Section 504 and Food Allergies
- Resources for Food Allergies in the School