Section 504 is the section of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 that protects the civil and constitutional rights of persons with disabilities. Any recipient both public and private that receives or benefits from Federal financial assistance must comply with the requirements of Section 504. The school district must provide a free appropriate public education to each qualified disabled person.
To be eligible for services and protection against discrimination on the basis of a disability under Section 504, a student must be determined, as a result of an evaluation, to have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more life activities.
Definition Of Substantial Limitation
Substantially limits can be defined as:
- Unable to perform a major life activity that the average person in the general population can perform, or;
- Significantly restricted as to the condition, manner or duration under which an individual can perform a particular major life activity as compared to the condition, manner, or duration under which the average person in the general population can perform that same major life activity.
Factors For Determining Substantial Limitations
- Nature and severity of impairment:
- Is the impairment mild or severe?
- Does the impairment result in the student not achieving at average levels?
- Does the impairment impact on a major life activity? If it does impact on a major life activity, how?
- Duration or expected duration of the impairment
- Is the impairment of such short duration that it will not cause significant problems?
- Will the impairment cease impacting on the child without any intervention?
- Permanent or long-term impact resulting from the impairment
- Will the impairment be short or long in duration?
- If the impairment is of short duration, will it have a significant impact without intervention?
- If the impairment is of short duration, will it have a significant impact on the child’s access to school or school activities?
- If the impairment will be long term, will the impact substantially limit the child’s access to school or school activities when compared to the average person in the general populations ability to perform the same major life activity?