Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination/harassment on the basis of disability in any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance. The District has specific responsibilities related to the provision of a "free appropriate public education" (FAPE) to school age individuals with disabilities under Section 504 and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
To meet the criteria for Section 504 protections, a child must:
Have a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities;
Have a record of such impairment; or
Be regarded as having such an impairment.
As a result of the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA) there is a broader application of the definition of disability under the ADA and Section 504. The new law eliminated the consideration of ameliorative effects of mitigating measures when determining whether a student has a disability, though they remain relevant when evaluating students' needs for accommodations/services. This means more students may be eligible for Section 504 nondiscrimination protections whether or not they currently need Section 504 plan accommodations/services.
During the 2013-2014 school year, the Welligent Section 504 Program module was developed to provide increased access to students' Section 504 records. School personnel are required to use the Welligent Section 504 Program module when conducting section 504 activities regarding referral, evaluation, plan development, and follow up, in order to effectively serve, monitor, and track students with disabilities under Section 504. The forms can be accessed by logging into the Welligent System and following the instructions outlined in REF-6241.2 Mandatory Use of the Welligent Section 504 Program Module to Conduct All Section 504 Activities
, dated April 8, 2015. The forms are fillable and the information typed into the English forms automatically populate the Spanish forms (Eng./Span.). The Welligent Section 504 Program module presents the Section 504 process as a sequence of four phases; I. Management; II. Evaluation; III. Meeting; and IV. Follow Up.
To reach the District's Section 504 Coordinator, contact the Educational Equity Compliance Office at (213) 241-7682.