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Marion City Schools

Inspiring a Community of Achievement

Section 504

What is Section 504?

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (“Section 504”) and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (“ADA”), as amended, are two pieces of federal civil rights legislation that specifically prohibit discrimination against persons with disabilities. Section 504 is Congress’ directive to schools receiving any Federal funding to eliminate discrimination based on disability from all aspects of their school operations. It states: “No otherwise qualified individual with a disability shall solely by reason of his/her disability, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.” Since the School District is a recipient of Federal dollars, its administrators and staff are required to provide eligible disabled students with equal access (both physical and academic) to services, programs, and activities offered by its schools. Section 504 is a civil rights statute and not a special education statute. The U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, is charged with enforcing this law. Section 504 further requires the Board of Education to provide a free appropriate public education to each qualified student with a disability (i.e., each student with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity) who resides within the District, regardless of the nature or severity of the person’s disability. To the extent the Board of Education operates a public preschool, it must consider the needs of qualified persons with disabilities in determining the aid, benefits, or services to be provided by the preschool.
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