To be eligible for protections under Section 504, a child must:
- Have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities;
- Have a record of a disability; or
- Is regarded as disabled by others.
Section 504 covers a wide range of disabilities including emotional or mental illness, ADD / ADHD, orthopedic conditions, epilepsy, diabetes, cancer, organic brain syndrome, learning disabilities and mental retardation.
The nature and severity of the disability will be considered in determining if it substantially limits at least one major life activity and requires accommodations and modifications through the development of a 504 Plan. A major life activity includes learning, walking, seeing, hearing speaking, breathing, working, caring for oneself and performing manual tasks.
Determining eligibility for services under Section 504 is a team decision. Team members often include teachers, school administrators, school psychologist, counselor, therapists, the parent and the child, if appropriate. If you have results from psychological or psychiatric evaluations, information about medications or input from your child's physician, you should consider sharing this with the team.
- Download a sample letter to request school accommodations under Section 504