Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires that the Copperas Cove Independent School District not discriminate on the basis of disability in any district program or activity. The district will identify, evaluate, and provide an apporopriate public education to students who are disabled under Section 504, including homeless children.
Section 504 is an anti-discrimination, civil rights statute that requires the needs of students with disabilities to be met as adequately as the needs of the non-disabled are met. Section 504 statest that: “No otherwise qualified individual with a disability in the United States, as defined in section 706(8) of this title, shall, solely by reason of her or his disability, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any other program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance...” [29 U.S.C. §794(a), 34 C.F.R. §104.4(a)]
What is the definition of a disabled student under Section 504?
An individual with a disability meands any person who:
- has a mental or physical impairement which substantially limits one or more major life activities;
- has a record of sucn an impairment; or
- is regarded as having such an impairment [34 C.F.R. §104.3(j)(1)]
An impairment, as used in Section 504, may include any disability, long-term illness, or various disorder that “substantially” reduces or lessens a student’s ability to access learning in the educational setting because of a learning-, behavior-, or health-related condition. [“It should be emphasized that a physical or mental impairment does not constitute a disability for purposes of Section 504 unless its severity is such that it results in a substantial limitation of one or more major life activities.” (Appendix A to Part 104, #3)]
A student may be referred to a campus committee for review under Section 504 by a parent or school personnel.
What is a "major life activity"?
Major life activities are:
Caring for oneself, doing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, eating, sleeping, breathing, standing, lifting, bending, learning, reading, concentrating, thinking, communicating, working or the operation of a major bodily function. An impairment that substantially limits one major life activity need not limit other major life activities in order to be considered a disability.
How do I learn more about the Section 504 law?
Visit the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights