Section 504 Services and Supports
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability. To be protected under Section 504, a student must be determined to:
- Have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities; or
- Have a record of such an impairment; or
- Be regarded as having such impairment.
Section 504 requires Brookfield LaGrange Park School District #95 to provide a free and appropriate public education (FAPE) to qualified students who have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, regardless of the nature or severity of the disability. Under Section 504, FAPE means providing regular or special education and related services designed to meet the student’s individual educational needs.
Evaluation & Eligibility Determination
The determination of whether a student has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity must be made on an individual basis by a team of people familiar with the student.
While no formalized assessments are required to determine whether a student has a physical or mental impairment, the school team is required to consider information from a variety of sources to ultimately determine eligibility and the level of support required by the student. Oftentimes the District may recommend completing some form of data collection or evaluation to determine the level of support the student may need. In most cases, this includes a review of past and present levels of performance, and may also include more standardized forms of assessment (e.g., parent/teacher rating scales, classroom observations, etc.). The district may also review and consider any reports submitted by the parent or guardian.
If a child is found to be eligible for services and supports under Section 504, then a 504 Plan will be developed. The plan consists of a list of the services, accommodations, and supports that will allow the student to participate in and have the same access to the general education program as students without disabilities.
The plan will be distributed to all of the teachers and other professionals who come into contact with a child during the school day and it is reviewed at least annually. However, parents/guardians have the right to request a meeting to review their student’s 504 Plan as often as necessary.
If you believe that your child requires services under Section 504, please contact your child’s classroom teacher. If you have general questions about Section 504, please contact Dean Pappas, Director of Student Services at [email protected] or 708-588-8863.