Overview of the law
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is the law that prohibits schools from discriminating against students with disabilities. Section 504 sets minimum standards for providing related services and aids to students with disabilities that substantially limits a major life activity. All accredited Iowa schools must comply with Section 504. Section 504 applies to elementary and secondary education, preschool and adult education, and private education.
Subpart D of the Regulations for the Rehabilitation Act - Explains preschool, elementary, and secondary education.
Resources for Parents
Resources for Schools
Schools must provide parents or guardians with notice that explains evaluation and placement decisions, the right to review educational records, and the right to appeal evaluation and placement decisions. Schools should designate one person to handle notices to ensure that this responsibility is covered. Unlike IDEA, administrative remedies need not be exhausted under Section 504 before parents and guardians may seek judicial remedies. However, if parents are not successful resolving complaints at the building or district levels, then they are encouraged to utilize the AEA Resolution Facilitator Process.
If a parent inquires about Section 504, the school should provide the parent with a copy of parental and student rights under Section 504. If a student is found ineligible for special education services under IDEA, the school should inform the student and parents of their right to an evaluation under Section 504. The school should also provide the student’s parents with a copy of parental and student rights under Section 504.
Free Section 504 training is available through AEA PD Online. Two modules are available:
- Module I : Tutorial For Understanding the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 as it Applies to K-12 Students: This is the first module, designed to give awareness level knowledge of Section 504 rules/regulations and related local school districts responsibilities. It has been updated to reflect ADAA 2008.
- Module II: A Tutorial For Applying the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 as it Applies to K-12 Students: This is the companion module that builds on content from Module I to give practical application level knowledge for 504 coordinators, teachers, school nurses, administrators and AEA staff. It has been updated to reflect ADAA 2008.
To enroll in a Section 504 module, visit: AEA PD Online Learning System
School Improvement Consultant
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