Section 504

What is Section 504?
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act is a civil rights act prohibiting discrimination based on a disability. The statute ensures that an eligible student with an impairment receives reasonable accommodations necessary for the student to access school-related programs and activities.
 
Who is Covered?
A student may be considered disabled under the definition of Section 504 if the student has, or has a record of, or is regarded as having, a mental or physical impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities.
 
Referral and Eligibility:
The referral process shall be initiated by the 504 chairperson, usually the school counselor, in response to any verbal, written or electronic request initiated by any appropriate party familiar with the student's education.
 
The Section 504 committee shall determine if the student meets the requirements of an eligible individual under Section 504 by discussing the following: (a) if a mental or physical impairment exists, (b) if the impairment substantially limits any of the student's major life functions, (c) how the impairment affects the student across the educational program, and (d) if the student is eligible for an accommodation plan.
 
The Section 504 Plan:
The Section 504 committee shall write a Section 504 plan for those students who the committee finds eligible for services.
 
Accommodations shall be included in the 504 plan, along with any modifications or services the student may need. Educational services, testing accommodations, and extracurricular activities shall be considered during the decision-making process. Accommodations and adaptations shall not lower, or substantially or fundamentally alter, Alexandria City Public Schools standards.
 
Student participation in the Standards of Learning (SOL) and District Wide Assessments shall be determined and documented on the student's 504 plan. Student participation in alternative assessments, such as the Virginia Grade Level Assessment (VGLA) and the Virginia Substitute Evaluation Program (VSEP) shall be determined and documented as well.
 
Review Procedures:
Section 504 plans shall be reviewed at least annually and eligibility is determined at least every three years by the Section 504 committee.
 
Questions:
Section 504 inquires may be submitted to the 504 chairperson at the school level which is usually the school counselor. Questions may also be directed to Dr. Margaret May Walsh, Executive Director, Student Support Services and Policy Development, at 703-824-1531.
 
Jim Gallagher, Supervisor of Student Services jgallagher@amherst.k12.va.us 946-9386 x9559
ACPS Section 504 Procedural Manual    
Procedural Safeguards: Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act    
Child Find Statement - (Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act)