The mission of the Exceptional Children Division is to assure that students with disabilities and those who are academically or intellectually gifted develop mentally, physically, emotionally, and vocationally through the provision of an appropriate individualized education in the least restrictive environment.
Section 504 is part of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. It is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination of students on the bases of a handicapping condition.
Section 504 is different from the Exceptional Children’s Program in that the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) has a defined list of disabilities that may qualify under IDEA. Section 504 is much broader in that it has no list. Each potentially qualifying disability much be assessed individually. A student qualifying to be served by Section 504 is one that has:
- a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities,
- a record of such impairment, or
- is regarded as having such an impairment.
Section 504 is enforced by the Office of Civil Rights. Please contact your school or district coordinator of Section 504 for additional information.