What is Section 504?
The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 §504 is a federal civil rights law protecting the rights of individuals with disabilities. It is commonly called §504 in the school setting. In the school setting, §504 provides accommodations for students with identified eligibilities. §504 is considered a general education program.
Students with 504 eligibility and plans are provided a Free and Appropriate Education (FAPE) and have procedural safeguards under that law. FAPE means their education must be provided with no costs to the parents that are different from any other general education student and meet the student’s needs. The website at the Tennessee Department of Education has a 504 Manual which will provide more information.
Eligibility under §504 has two prongs. The first prong is about identifying if a student has an eligible disability under §504. §504 eligibility says an individual with a disability is anyone who: