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Section 504 was established as part of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973

  • “No otherwise qualified individual with handicaps in the United States shall solely by reason of his/her handicap, as defined in Section 706(8) of this title, 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 or under any program or activity conducted by any executive agency or by the United States Postal Service.”
  • (29 U.S.C. Sec. 794)
  • STUDENTS PROTECTED UNDER SECTION 504

    Section 504 covers qualified students with disabilities who attend schools receiving direct or indirect Federal financial assistance. To be protected under Section 504, a student must be determined to:

    (1) have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities; or

    (2) have a record of such an impairment; or

    (3) be regarded as having such an impairment.

    These three parts are referred to as “prongs” of eligibility. This determination is made by a team of knowledgeable individuals, including the parents, who are familiar of the student and his/her disability. Section 504 requires that school districts provide a free appropriate public education (FAPE) to qualified students in their jurisdictions who have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.

    Notice of Rights of Students and Parents Under Section 504

    Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, commonly referred to as “Section 504,” is a nondiscrimination statute enacted by the United States Congress. The purpose of Section 504 is to prohibit discrimination and to assure that disabled students have educational opportunities and benefits equal to those provided to non-disabled students.

    Parents and/or students are provided with the following rights through the implementing regulations of Section 504 as set out in 34 CFR Part 104:

    1. Your child has the right to an appropriate education designed to meet his or her individual educational needs as adequately as the needs of non-disabled students. 34 CFR 104.33.

    2. Your child has the right to free educational services except for those fees that are imposed on non-disabled students or their parents. Insurers and similar third parties who provide services not operated by or provided by the recipient are not relieved from an otherwise valid obligation to provide or pay for services provided to a disabled student. 34 CFR 104.33.

    3. Your child has a right to participate in an educational setting (academic or nonacademic) with non-disabled students to the maximum extent appropriate to his or her needs 34 CFR 104.34.

    4. Your child has a right to facilities, services, and activities that are comparable to those provided for non-disabled students. 34 CFR 104.34.

    5. Your child has a right to an evaluation prior to a Section 504 determination of eligibility. 34 CFR 104.35.

    6. You have the right to not consent to the school system’s request to evaluate your child. 34 CFR 104.35.

    7. You have the right to ensure that evaluation procedures, which may include testing, conform to the requirements of 34 CFR 104.35.

    8. You have the right to ensure that the school system will consider information for a variety of sources as appropriate, which may include aptitude and achievement tests, grades, teacher recommendations and observations, physical conditions, social or cultural background, medical records, and parental recommendations. 34 CFR 104.35.

    9. You have the right to ensure that placement decisions are made by a group of persons, including persons knowledgeable about your child, the meaning of evaluation data, the placement options, and the legal requirements for least restrictive environment and comparable facilities.

    10. If your child is eligible under Section 504, your child has a right to periodic reevaluations, including prior to any subsequent significant change of placement 34 CFR 104.35.

    11. You have the right to notice prior to any actions by the school system regarding the identification, evaluation, or placement of your child. 34 CFR 104.36.

    12. You have the right to examine your child’s educational records. 34 CFR 104.36.

    13. You have the right to an impartial hearing with respect to the school system’s actions regarding your child’s identification, evaluation, or educational placement, with opportunity for parental participation in the hearing and representation by an attorney. 34 CFR 104.36.

    14. You have the right to receive a copy of this notice and a copy of the school system’s impartial hearing procedure upon request. 34 CFR 104.36.

    15. If you disagree with the decision of the impartial hearing officer (school board members and other district employees are not considered impartial hearing officers), you have a right to a review of that decision according to the school system’s impartial hearing procedures. 34 CFR 104.36.

    16. You have the right to, at any time, file a complaint with the United State Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights. The address of the regional office is: Office for Civil Rights; Region IV; 61 Forsyth Street, Suite 1970; Atlanta, GA 30303.

    If you have questions, need additional assistance, or want more information regarding Section 504, please contact Dr. Donna H. McClain, the Ware County School System’s 504 director at the following address:

    Ware County Schools

    1301 Bailey Street

    Waycross, GA 31501

    (912) 287-2306

    dmcclain@ware.k12.ga.us

    Below is a list of MBFs and MLAs that may be impacted by a disability:

    Concentrating Thinking Reading Reaching
    Learning Caring for one’s self Communicating Lifting
    Hearing Performing Manual Tasks Speaking Bending
    Seeing Working (occupation) Sleeping Walking
    Eating Interacting with others Standing Respiratory
    Digestive Functions of immune system Neurological Endocrine
    Bowel Normal cell growth Brain Hemic
    Bladder Musculoskeletal Circulatory Lymphatic
    Cardiovascular Special sense organs & skin Genitourinary