What is Section 504?
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is a civil rights statue which provides that: “No otherwise qualified individual with disabilities in the united States…shall, solely by reason of his/her 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 or activity conducted by any executive agency. (29 U.S.C 794)”
What does the Section 504 Team do?
The purpose of the Union Township School District Section 504 team is to ensure that students who are disabled within the definition of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 are identified, assessed and provided with appropriate educational services. Students may be considered disabled under this act even though they are not eligible for services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). A student with disabilities is the same as “a handicapped person” defined in 34 C.F.R. 104.3(j). That definition is a follows: “Handicapped person” means any person who (i) has a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities, (ii) has a record of such an impairment, or (iii) is regarded as having such an impairment.”
What is a Section 504 Plan?
A Section 504 plan is a document that provides necessary accommodations to students with disabilities who have a physical or mental handicapping condition that is determined to have a substantial impact on one or more major life activities.
Process for new referrals:
· Parents, teachers or others may refer a student to the 504 committee.
· 504 Committee must obtain written parent permission before beginning an assessment of the student.
· Pertinent data is gathered by the team. Consideration is given to data and documentation from a wide variety of information sources including but not limited to parents and teachers, medical and mental health professionals, academic records and testing results.
· Data is assessed to determine eligibility.
· If it is determined that a student's medical or mental handicapping condition meets eligibility criteria, a plan is developed to provide necessary accommodations for the student to be able to access their educational program to the same extent as their non-disabled peers.
· If the student is found “not eligible”, an eligibility determination form will be sent to the parents.
· The completed plan is distributed to all the student's teachers for immediate implementation.
For more information, to discuss your child's 504 plan already in place or to refer your child for assessment by the team, please contact district 504 Team Coordinator Susan Mason RN, School Nurse UTMS at 908-238-6007. Please note, parental requests for initial 504 eligibility consideration must be presented in writing, signed by one or more parent/guardians. Referral letters can be mailed or delivered to: