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Section 504

Background Information

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is a civil rights act that prohibits discrimination of access to federally funded programs and activities on the basis of a student’s disability.

A disability under Section 504 is a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities. These activities include, but are not limited to, performing manual tasks, seeing, hearing, eating, sleeping, walking, standing, lifting, bending, speaking, breathing, learning, reading, concentrating, thinking, communicating, and working. Major life activities also include the operation of a major bodily function such as the function of the immune, respiratory, or digestive system.

The term “substantially limits” means an individual is restricted in performing a major life activity as compared to an average person in the general population.

To qualify for Section 504 protection, three criteria must be met:
The student must have a documented physical or mental impairment.
The impairment must affect one or more major life activities.
The effect on the major life activity must be substantially limiting.

Referral Process

School administrators, teachers, parents, doctors, and the school nurse may make a referral to the school
 504 Team. However, parents must agree for the evaluation process to proceed. Referrals for consideration of Section 504 eligibility are discussed in a school meeting with the student’s parents, teacher, and the school 504 contact. If the suspected impairment is learning related, the team generally recommends beginning the student in the problem solving process for additional strategies and/or interventions. During this process, if it is determined that the student is not in need of special education, but has a diagnosed impairment that substantially limits a major life activity, the case may be referred to the school’s Section 504 team for consideration.

If the affected major life activity is not learning related, the school meeting team may refer the case directly to the Section 504 team. If the 504 team determines that the student meets the criteria to receive protection under Section 504, then the student may receive a Section 504 plan designed to include accommodations that will afford the student equal opportunity to benefit from the learning environment.

Some students meet the eligibility guidelines for protection under the Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, however, are not in need of a Section 504 plan. An example may be a student whose disability is intermittent, in remission or controlled by medication. Additionally, a student may meet eligibility guidelines for Section 504 based on an Individualized Health Plan but will not need a Section 504 plan.

The process to determine Section 504 eligibility is team oriented and specifically designed to meet the needs of our students. Each school in Dare County has a designated Section 504 contact person who can help with parent concerns.

Notice of Non-Discrimination

In compliance with federal law, the Dare County Board of Education does not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, religion, color, national or ethnic origin, age, disability, or military service in its policies, programs, activities, admissions or employment. Inquiries or complaints should be made to the Director of Exceptional Children Programs, Dare County Schools, 3020 Wrightsville Avenue, Nags Head, NC 27959; telephone (252) 480-8888. 

En cumplimiento de la ley federal, la Junta de Educación del Condado de Dare no discrimina por motivos de raza, sexo, religión, color, origen nacional o étnico, edad, discapacidad o servicio militar en sus políticas, programas, actividades, admisiones o empleo.  Las preguntas o quejas deben dirigirse al Director de Programas de Estudiantes Excepcionales, Dare County Schools, 3020 Wrightsville Avenue, Nags Head, NC 27959; teléfono (252)480-8888