S'More About Section 504!

An overview for Campus Administrators

Agenda Items Included: May 2016

1. Defining Section 504

2. Eligibility

3. Prevalence in NEISD

4. Differentiating Section 504 and Special Education

5. Accommodations

6. Manifestation Determination Review

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973

Civil Rights Legislation - Monitored through the Office of Civil Rights (OCR)

1. Protects individuals with disabilities by preventing any form of discrimination based on the identified disability.

2. The School's Focus: non-discrimination and equal educational opportunity / access for eligible students

3. Accommodations and/or Services appropriate for the individual's identified disability

4. Ensuring an equal opportunity to participate in extra-curricular and non-academic activities

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Eligibility for Protection Under Section 504

The student has an identified physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one of more major life activities.

A student may have a record of the impairment verified by a medical doctor, psychiatrist, or psychologist with a Ph.D.

A student may be regarded as having such an impairment: Meaning that the student has been treated as though such an impairment has been identified over a period of time and thus is deemed to have the impairment.

An evaluation under Section 504 is a review of existing data for consideration by a committee. Dyslexia assessments may be given by the school as a part of the determination process if this is the condition under consideration.

The substantial limitation clause...

To what extent does the impairment interfere with the student's access to educational opportunities? (including academic, environmental, extra-curricular and non-academic activities.)

What about a temporary disability?

Yes, students with a temporary disability may be eligible for accommodations during the time that the condition impacts access to equitable opportunities... then may be dismissed when the temporary condition is resolved.

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Prevalence in NEISD: A growing population

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On May 1, 2016 - 504 numbers had grown to 3,778.

In one month, 72 more students were identified.

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IDEIA (special education) v Section 504

Federal Laws for students with disabilities.

However, they are not the same.

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ACCOMMODATIONS under Section 504

  1. Identified by the 504 committee during the 504 meeting
  2. Must be directly related to the identified disability
  3. Offer access and a "level playing field" for the student to participate
  4. May be instructional, environmental, behavioral, medical and apply to daily routine and assessment as designated on the IAP


Specially designed instruction or modifications to the curricular content that reduce the rigor or expectations from that required by the TEKS may NOT be a part of a 504 IAP.

Students who are suspected of having a disability that is in need of specially designed instruction need to be supported by accommodations and the RTI process to document the potential for assessing under IDEIA.

When a student is a DNQ for special education services, DO NOT immediately roll into a Section 504 meeting. The ARD must close. If accommodations under section 504 are suspected to be needed, a notice must be sent requesting a 504 evaluation. This is not an automatic process. 504 must still identify a disability. DNQ is not a disability.

If a parent revokes services under IDEIA special education, DO NOT immediately roll into a Section 504 meeting. If the district has proposed an IEP, the process of a disagreed upon ARD should be followed first. If the student is considered for section 504 accommodations following the revocation process, the committee MAY NOT offer specially designed instruction or "special education like" services or modifications under the guise of section 504.

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MDR Refresher Training Module

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