Section 504

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973

Who is Eligible?

Under the protections of Section 504, an individual must demonstrate that he/she has a physical or mental impairment which substantially limites a major life activity, has a record of such impairment or is regarded as having such an impairment.  Major life activities included, but are not limited to, seeing, hearing, speaking, walking, breathing, learning, working, caring for oneself and performing manual tasks.  all students with disabilities who are entitled to attend school under state law are convered by Section 504.  Section 504 is designed to prevent discrimination against individuals with disabilities.  In public elementary and secondary schools it requires that students with disabilities receive a free and appropriate public education.

What is a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity?  

The Section 504 regulatory provision at 34 C.F.R. 104.3(j)(2)(i) defines a physical or mental impairment as any physiological disorder or condition, cosmetic disfigurement, or anatomical loss affecting one or more of the following body systems: neurological; musculoskeletal; special sense organs; respiratory, including speech organs; cardiovascular; reproductive; digestive; genito-urinary; hemic and lymphatic; skin; and endocrine; or any mental or psychological disorder, such as mental retardation, organic brain syndrome, emotional or mental illness, and specific learning disabilities. The regulatory provision does not set forth an exhaustive list of specific diseases and conditions that may constitute physical or mental impairments because of the difficulty of ensuring the comprehensiveness of such a list.

Major life activities, as defined in the Section 504 regulations at 34 C.F.R. 104.3(j)(2)(ii), include functions such as caring for one's self, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, and working. This list is not exhaustive. Other functions can be major life activities for purposes of Section 504.  In the Amendments Act, Congress provided additional examples of general activities that are major life activities, including eating, sleeping, standing, lifting, bending, reading, concentrating, thinking, and communicating.  Congress also provided a non-exhaustive list of examples of “major bodily functions” that are major life activities, such as the functions of the immune system, normal cell growth, digestive, bowel, bladder,neurological, brain, respiratory, circulatory, endocrine, and reproductive functions.  The Section 504 regulatory provision, though not as comprehensive as the Amendments Act, is still valid – the Section 504 regulatory provision’s list of examples of major life activities is not exclusive, and an activity or function not specifically listed in the Section 504 regulatory provision can nonetheless be a major life activity.

Who do I contact if I suspect my child is eligible for accommodations under Section 504?  

Please contact Mrs. Mason at 609-632-0940 (4013) or Mr. Passafaro at 609-632-0940 (4012) if you would like to schedule an appointment.

For More  Information

US Department of Education