Students who do not qualify for exceptional children's services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) may be entitled to support under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Section 504 requires that:
"No otherwise qualified individual with a disability in the United
States...shall, solely by reason of her or his disability, 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... "
-- U.S. Department of Education
In January 2009, the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA) went into effect and had implications for the provision of Section 504 protections for students. In fact, the amendments appear to have broadened eligibility under 504. Essentially, a student may be found disabled under Section 504 if he/she has
a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activity (i.e. learning, behavior, seeing, walking, and so forth),
has a record of impairment,
or is regarded as having an impairment.
Children eligible under Section 504 are entitled to supports and services which are delivered through a 504 plan.
Under Section 504, parents are entitled to certain rights, all of which are outlined in the Section 504 Notice of Student and Parent Rights. Moreover, parents are also to be notified of Grievance and Due Process Procedures.
For Guilford County Schools' Board policy with regard to 504 grievances and appeals, click here.
Section 504 Grievance Forms:
For a list of frequently asked questions about Section 504, please visit http://www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/504faq.html.
For Disability Discrimination resources visit http://www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/disabilityresources.html?exp=0.
Please remember, if you have any classroom concerns about your child related to Section 504 it is always a good idea to contact your child’s teacher first. This includes if you believe your student may be eligible for protections under Section 504 and may need accommodations. If your child is already identified and you have questions or concerns about Section 504 or about your student’s individual 504 plan you should contact the teacher.
Each school has a designated Section 504 Coordinator(s) who manages Section 504 in their schools. This is another valuable resource if you have questions about Section 504. They can answer questions about the law and are the ones to facilitate Section 504 meetings including eligibility meeting, reevaluations, annual reviews, or to address concerns. As a parent, you can request to convene a Section 504 meeting at any time.
If your concern is with your child’s teacher or with the Section 504 Coordinator, you should contact the school’s principal.
If you still have concerns, please contact the district’s Supervisor of Section 504 - Charissa Cowley click here to email (336) 621-4001