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What is a 504?

Section 504 is a part of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 that prohibits discrimination based upon disability. Section 504 is an anti-discrimination, civil rights statute that requires the needs of students with disabilities to be met as adequately as the needs of the non-disabled are met.

An impairment as used in Section 504 may include any disability, long-term illness, or various disorders that “substantially” reduces or lessens a student’s ability to access learning in the educational setting because of learning-, behavior- or health-related condition.   Substantially limits is not defined in the federal regulations. In considering substantial limitations, students must be measured against their same age, non-disabled peers in the general population and without benefit of medication or other mitigating measures.

Many students have conditions or disorders that are not readily apparent to others. They may include conditions such as specific learning disabilities, diabetes, epilepsy and allergies. Hidden disabilities such as low vision, poor hearing, heart disease or chronic illness may not be obvious, but if they substantially limit that child’s ability to receive an appropriate education as defined by Section 504, they may be considered to have “impairment” under Section 504 standards. As a result, these students, regardless of their intelligence, will be unable to fully demonstrate their ability or attain educational benefits equal to that of non-disabled students. The definition does not set forth a list of specific diseases, conditions or disorders that constitute impairments because of the difficulty of ensuring the comprehensiveness of any such list. While the definition of a disabled person also includes specific limitations on what persons are classified as disabled under the regulations, it also specifies that only physical and mental impairments are included, thus “environmental, cultural and economic disadvantage are not in themselves covered”

Major life activities include, but are not limited to: self-care, manual tasks, walking, seeing, speaking, sitting, thinking, learning, breathing, concentrating, interacting with others and working. As of January 1, 2009 with the reauthorization of the Americans with Disabilities Amendment Act, this list has been expanded to also include the life activities of reading, concentrating, standing, lifting, bending, etc. This may include individuals with AD/HD, dyslexia, cancer, diabetes, severe allergies, chronic asthma, Tourette ’s syndrome, digestive disorders, cardiovascular disorders, depression, conduct disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, HIV/AIDS, behavior disorders. Students who are currently using illegal drugs or alcohol are not covered or eligible under Section 504.

Students that are eligible for a 504 Plan receive modifications and accommodations based on their identified need and how it substantially limits one or more of their major life activities. 

If you have questions please contact the Education Services Office at 847-551-8430. 

 

District Office
Phone: 847-551-8300
Fax: 847-551-8413
Community Unit School District 300

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2550 Harnish Drive
Algonquin, IL 60102
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