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**Office for Civil Rights- Frequently Asked Questions About Section 504 and the Education of Children with Disabilities**
Section 504/Americans with Disabilities Act
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability for any
program receiving federal funds, including schools, early intervention, and Head Start programs.
The Americans with Disabilities Act also prohibit discrimination on the basis of disability in
education, employment, transportation, health care, and a host of other services and activities of
state and local governments, including child care. Students with disabilities who are not eligible
for services under IDEA may be eligible under Section 504 or the ADA if the disability is such
that it significantly limits “one or more major life activities.” Examples include students who
have HIV/AIDS, asthma, arthritis, attention deficit disorder/attention deficit hyperactivity
disorder, traumatic brain disorder, conduct disorder, or depression.
Occupational and physical therapists may be asked to help local school district teams determine student
eligibility under Section 504 and to assist in the identification of services and development of the
If the 504 committee determines that an educational need for occupational or physical therapy
exists, services may be provided directly to a child or as a necessary accommodation. While no
additional federal funds are available for services under Section 504 or the ADA, compliance
with the requirements are mandatory for early childhood and school settings.
The determination for how districts handle provision of OT/PT/AT/APE services to students in 504 (funding, implementation, etc) is led by the Sped Director (oftentimes it may depend upon how each program and salaried position is funded, etc). For example- some salaries are split-funded (local and federal funds) allowing for a special ed AT/OT/PT staff person to be able to provide services to 504/gen ed for a percentage of their time)...Have this discussion with your directors so that you know how your district wants this handled! (The same goes for RtI services.)
Has a Disability
Does Not need Specially Designed Instruction (SDI)
These students are NOT substantially limited
Section 504 Students who have:
a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity; or
substantially limits a major life activity
mitigating measures (meds, AT,dyslexia accomms)
These students need specially designed instruction for reasons other than a physical or mental impairment
Ex: LEP, slow learners
Section 504 and IDEA Eligible
These students need specially designed instruction due to a disability that adversely affects the student's educational performance
Table developed by Jim Walsh/ Walsh Anderson 2009
Texas Project FIRST Section 504
? accommodations where to address
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