ACPS has recently updated the Section 504 Procedural Guidance Manual.
ACPS is committed to seeing Every Student Succeed, so please make sure you are familiar with the changes. This is useful information to pass on to the families of your students.
What is Section 504?
Section 504 is a federal law designed to protect the civil rights of individuals with disabilities in programs and activities that receive federal financial assistance from the U.S. Department of Education. Specifically, Section 504 indicates that “no otherwise qualified individual with a disability shall, solely because of her or his disability, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal funds.” In short, Section 504 ensures that an eligible student with a disability has equal access to educational opportunities and related school programs and activities, just as his or her non-disabled peers. Students that are currently identified under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) already have Section 504 non-discriminatory protections.
Who is Covered?
A student may be considered disabled under Section 504 if the student has a mental or physical impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities, has a record of an impairment, or is regarded as having an impairment. Major life activities include functions such as: caring for one’s self, performing manual tasks, seeing, hearing, eating, sleeping, walking, standing, lifting, bending, speaking, breathing, learning, reading, concentrating, thinking, communicating and working (this list is not exhaustive).
If you suspect that a child may have a disability under Section 504, please contact the child’s school counselor to discuss further.
You can read the full guide at http://www.acps.k12.va.us/student-services/section-504/.