Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is
a federal civil rights law which prohibits discrimination against
individuals with disabilities. It applies to any school which receives
federal funds. The intent of this law is to provide students with
disabilities equal access to educational programs, services, and
activities. Students with disabilities may not be denied participation
in school programs and activities solely on the basis of disability.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a disability?
Students who meet the definition of a person with a disability under Section 504 are those who:
- have a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities;
- have a record of such an impairment; or
- are regarded as having such an impairment.
Section 504 defines a physical or mental impairment as any
physiological disorder or condition, cosmetic disfigurement, or
anatomical loss affecting one or more of the following body systems:
neurological; musculoskeletal; special sense organs; respiratory,
including speech organs; cardiovascular; reproductive; digestive;
genito-urinary; hemic and lymphatic; skin; and endocrine; or any mental
or psychological disorder, such as mental retardation, organic brain
syndrome, emotional or mental illness, and specific learning
What is a physical or mental impairment?
The regulation does not set forth a complete list of specific
diseases and conditions that may constitute physical or mental
impairments because of the difficulty of ensuring the comprehensiveness
of such a list.
What is a major life activity?
The Section 504 definition includes - caring for one's self,
performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing,
learning, and working. This list is not exhaustive. Other functions can
be major life activities for purposes of Section 504.
Who determines eligibility?
Determining whether a student is a “qualified disabled student” under
Section 504 begins with the evaluation process. Each district will have
standards and procedures for initial evaluations. Staff often included
in the process may include: teachers, school psychologist, counselor,
nurse and/or principal - as well as the parent or guardian.
If a student is eligible, how are services provided?
Often a written plan is developed, commonly called a 504 Plan which
details accommodations that will be made to ensure that the student has
access to programs and activities.
What are accommodations?
Accommodations are program adjustments made to remove
disability-related barriers so a student is able to fully participate in
school- both academic and nonacademic activities. (i.e. preferential
seating, adjust length of test, provide a behavior plan, modified P.E.).
What if my child’s teacher is not providing the accommodations listed on the 504 Plan?
The first step is to contact the teacher and ensure he/she is aware
your child has a 504 Plan. If the teacher is not responsive, contact the
504 Coordinator assigned to your child’s school. If your concerns are
not resolved, you may wish to contact your School District’s 504
What is a 504 Coordinator?
Each school district is required to designate an employee who will be
responsible for ensuring compliance with Section 504 regulations. The
District 504 Coordinator is Rebecca Lockhart, Executive Director of Student Services, LockhartR@csdk12.org; 509.769.5541. Each school has a counselor that is the School 504
Coordinator, please contact your child’s school for contact information.
Can a student be dismissed from Section 504?
Yes - once a student no longer meets the eligibility requirements.
Who can I contact, other than my school district and OSPI to answer my questions about Section 504?
The U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights (OCR)
enforces Section 504. OCR can also provide information and assistance.
For more information contact:
U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights
OCR, U.S. Department of Education
915 Second Avenue Room 3310
Seattle, WA 98174-1099
(206) 607-1600 TDD: 877-521-2172