Section 504: Parent and Student Rights

  • Notice of Parent and Student Rights Under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973

    Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, commonly referred to as “Section 504,” is a nondiscrimination statute enacted by the U.S. Congress. The Act’s purpose is to prohibit discrimination and to assure that disabled students have educational opportunities and benefits equal to those provided to non-disabled students. An eligible student under Section 504 is an individual who:

    • Has a mental or physical impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities (major life activities include, but are not limited to, activities such as caring for oneself, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, working, eating, lifting, sleeping, thinking, reading, or communicating,);
    • Has a record of such impairments; or
    • Is regarded as having such impairment.
      Some students will be eligible for educational services under both Section 504 and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Students who are eligible under IDEA have additional rights that are not available to students who are eligible solely under Section 504.

    This notice describes the parent/guardian and student rights under Section 504. The intent of this notice is to keep you fully informed concerning decisions about your child and to inform you of your rights if you disagree with any decisions in reference to Section 504.

    Parents/Guardians and/or students have the right to:

    1. Be informed by the School District of your rights and procedural safeguards under Section 504. 34 C.F.R. § 104.32. The purpose of this notice is to advise parents/guardians and/or students of these rights.
    2. An appropriate education designed to meet a student’s individual educational needs as adequately as the needs of non-disabled students are met. 34 C.F.R. § 104.33.
    3. A placement in the least restrictive environment. 34 C.F.R. § 104.34.
    4. Facilities, services, and activities that are comparable to those provided for non-disabled students. 34 C.F.R. § 104.34.
    5. An evaluation prior to an initial Section 504 placement and any subsequent change inplacement. 34 C.F.R. § 104.35.
    6. Evaluation procedures conforming to the requirements of 34 C.F.R. § 104.35. Evaluation, placement, and other educational decisions regarding the student will be based on a variety of sources and made by a group of people, including individuals knowledge about the child, evaluation data, placement options, and the legal requirements for the least restrictive environment and comparable facilities.
    7. Periodic reevaluations. 34 C.F.R. § 104.35.
    8. Notice prior to any action by the District regarding the identification, evaluation, or placement of the student. 34 C.F.R. § 104.36.
    9. Examine relevant records. 34 C.F.R. § 104.36.
    10. An impartial due process hearing regarding the student’s identification, evaluation, or educational placement including an opportunity for parent/guardian participation in the hearing and representation by counsel. 34 C.F.R. § 104.36.

    To request an impartial hearing, the parent/guardian must file a written request with the District Section 504 Coordinator or designee within 10 calendar days from the time written notice was received of the District’s Section 504 committee decision.

    The hearing will be scheduled before an impartial hearing officer and you will be notified in writing of the date, time, and place for the hearing. The impartial hearing officer shall issue a written decision, including findings of fact and conclusions of law, within 10 days after the conclusion of the hearing.

    1. A review by a court of competent jurisdiction of the impartial hearing officer’s decision. 34 C.F.R. § 104.36.
    2. File a complaint utilizing the District’s Uniform Grievance Procedure (Board Policy 2:260) regarding any complaints that allege action prohibited by Section 504.
    3. File a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights, Chicago Office, 230 South Dearborn Street, 37th Floor, Chicago, IL 60604.

    If you have any questions about these rights, please contact your student’s case manager or the Associate/Assistant Principal for Student Services at your student’s school.