What is Section 504?

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is a civil rights law designed to eliminate disability discrimination in programs and activities that receive federal funds. Since all public school districts receive federal funds, all public school districts must comply with Section 504. Under Section 504, denying a disabled student a free appropriate public education constitutes disability discrimination.

Section 504 requires the provision of appropriate educational services; services that are designed to meet the individual needs of qualified students to the same extent that the needs of students without a disability are met. Essentially, Section 504 was designed to "level the playing field," to ensure full participation by individuals with disabilities.

Who is a disabled student under Section 504?

A school-aged student is a disabled student under Section 504 if the student:

  • Has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities,

  • Has a record of having such an impairment, or

  • Is regarded as having such an impairment.

Who can I talk to about Section 504?

The school counselors at each school act as case mangers for students needing assistance under Section 504. In addition to the resources below, your school counselor can be of enormous help in determining if Section 504 is the appropriate support for your child. Furthermore, as the Section 504 Case Manager, the school counselor will take the lead in taking your referral through evaluation and development of a 504 plan if needed.

If you have additional questions regarding Section 504 please visit Jeff Brown at the District Office, or call him at 360-757-3311 ext 1006.

How do I refer a student for section 504?

Any person can refer a student for evaluation under Section 504. Parents, guardians, and school staff should refer a student for evaluation if they know or suspect that, due to a physical or mental impairment, a student needs accommodations or modifications to participate in or benefit from the district’s education program.

While any written request for a section 504 evaluation will suffice, using the district referral form will help expedite the process. When submitting an evaluation request, please feel free to ask your school counselor for a copy of the “Parent/Student Rights.” (Spanish)

Section 504 Resources

For a detailed explanation of Section 504 services here in the Burlington-Edison School District, please download: A Guide to Section 504 & Student Access to a Free Appropriate Public Education.

Sample Forms: