Pupil Services also monitors the provision of Section 504 Plans for those students who experience qualifying medical or mental health disabilities. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act is a civil rights act prohibiting discrimination based on disability.
Section 504 is a federal law designed to protect the rights of individuals with disabilities in programs and activities that receive federal funds from the U.S. Department of Education (ED). Section 504 provides: "No otherwise qualified individual with a disability in the United States . . . shall solely by reason of their 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 …"
The Section 504 regulation requires a school district to provide a "free appropriate public education" (FAPE) to each qualified student with a disability who is in the school district's jurisdiction, regardless of the nature or severity of the disability. FAPE consists of the provision of regular or special education and related aids and services designed to meet the student's individual needs.
Section 504 covers qualified students with disabilities who attend schools receiving Federal financial assistance. To be protected under Section 504, a student must be determined to:
- have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities;
- have a record of such an impairment, or
- be regarded as having such an impairment. Section 504 requires that school districts provide a free and appropriate public education (FAPE) to qualified students in their jurisdictions who have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities