The Rehabilitation Act of 1973, commonly referred to as “Section 504,” is a nondiscrimination statute enacted by the United States Congress. The purpose of Section 504 and these procedures is to ensure that no qualified disabled person shall, on the basis of disability, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of or otherwise be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity which receives or benefits from federal financial assistance.
The building principal is responsible for the implementation of this administrative regulation. The 504 Coordinator will ensure consistency with the intent of Section 504.
An eligible student is a student who (a) has, (b) has a record of having or (c) is regarded as having a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits a major life activity such as learning, self-care, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, working and performing manual tasks.
Section 504 Process
Many students will be eligible for educational services under both Section 504 and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Students who are eligible under IDEA have many specific rights that are not available to students who are eligible solely under Section 504. It is the purpose of the Notice form to set out the rights assured by Section 504 to those disabled students who qualify under the IDEA.
The enabling regulations for Section 504 as set out in 34 CFR Part 104 provide parents and/or students with the following rights:
1. You have a right to be informed by the school district of your rights under Section 504. (The purpose of this Notice form is to advise you of those rights.)
2. Your child has the right to an appropriate education designed to meet his/her individual educational needs as adequately as the needs of nondisabled students are met.
3. Your child has the right to free educational services except for those fees that are imposed on nondisabled students or their parents. Insurers and similar third parties are not relieved from an otherwise valid obligation to provide or pay for services provided to a disabled student.
4. Your child has a right to placement in the least restrictive environment.
5. Your child has a right to facilities, services and activities that are comparable to those provided for nondisabled students.
6. Your child has a right to an evaluation prior to an initial Section 504 placement and any subsequent significant change in placement.
7. Testing and other evaluation procedures must conform with the requirements of this section as to validation, administration, areas of evaluation, etc. The school district shall consider information from a variety of sources, including aptitude and achievement tests, teacher recommendations, physical condition, social and cultural background, adaptive behavior, physical or medical reports, student grades, progress reports, parent observations and anecdotal reports.
8. Placement decisions must be made by a group of persons (i.e. the Pupil Personnel Services Team), including persons knowledgeable about your child, the meaning of the evaluation data, the placement options and the legal requirements for least restrictive environment and comparable facilities.
9. If eligible under Section 504, your child has the right to periodic reevaluations every three years.
10. You have the right to notice prior to any action by the district in regard to the identification, evaluation or placement of your child.
11. You have the right to examine relevant records.
12. You have the right to an impartial hearing with respect to the district’s actions regarding your child’s identification, evaluation or educational placement with opportunity for parental participation in the hearing and representation by an attorney.
13. If you wish to challenge the actions of the district’s Pupil Personnel Services Team/Section 504 Committee in regard to your child’s identification, evaluation or educational placement, you should file a written Notice of Appeal with the district’s Section 504 Coordinator (Lisa A. Miori-Dinneen, 8199 East Seneca Turnpike, Manlius, New York 13104, telephone number 315-692-1203) within 30 calendar days from the time you received written notice of the Pupil Personnel Services Team/Section 504 Committee’s notice of the Pupil Personnel Services Team/Section 504 Committee’s action(s). A hearing will be scheduled before an impartial hearing officer, and you will be notified in writing of the date, time and place for the hearing.
14. If you disagree with the decision of the impartial hearing officer, you have a right to a review of that decision by a court of competent jurisdiction.
15. On Section 504 matters other than your child’s identification, evaluation and placement, you have a right to file a complaint with the district’s Assistant Superintendent for Personnel (Jeffrey Gordon, 315-692-1212) who will investigate all allegations to the extent warranted by the nature of the complaint in an effort to reach a prompt and equitable resolution.
16. You also have the right to file a complaint with the Office of Civil Rights.