Section 504 and Students with Disabilities
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Equity and Civil Rights

Section 504 and Students with Disabilities

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, commonly called “Section 504,” is a federal law that protects students from discrimination based on disability. This law applies to all programs and activities that receive funding from the federal government—including Washington public schools.
Section 504 Regulations | Chapter 28A.642 RCW | Chapter 392-190 WAC

Equal Opportunities and Benefits
State law also protects students from disability discrimination in public schools. These laws make sure that students with disabilities have educational opportunities and benefits equal to those provided to students without disabilities. To be protected by these laws, a student must have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.

Under Section 504, students with disabilities can access the accommodations, aids, and services they need to access and benefit from education. Section 504 requires that public schools provide a "free appropriate public education" (FAPE) to every student with a disability — regardless of the nature or severity of the disability.

 


Families — Section 504

Students’ Rights: Section 504 and Students with Disabilities
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Your Student’s Right to a Free Appropriate Public Education — User-friendly Guide
English | Spanish

Parent and Educator Resource Guide to Section 504

Know Your Rights: Section 504 and ADHD

Harassment | Discriminatory Harassment — Based on Disability
Harassment based on disability is a form of discrimination prohibited in Washington public schools. Schools must take steps to protect students and investigate possible discriminatory harassment—as soon as they know or reasonably should know—even if a parent or student does not file a complaint.
Discriminatory Harassment — Equity and Civil Rights at OSPI

Questions, Concerns, Complaints
The Section 504 coordinator in each district makes sure students with disabilities receive the accommodations they need and respond to allegations of discrimination based on disability.

A discussion with your school principal, or Section 504 coordinator at the school district, is often the best step to address your concerns or disagreements about Section 504 and work toward a solution. Share what happened and let the principal or coordinator know what they can do to help resolve the problem.

If you cannot resolve the concern or disagreement this way, you can file a complaint.

 


Districts — Section 504

Free Appropriate Public Education — User-friendly Guide
English | Spanish

Section 504 — Step-by-Step
FAQs about Section 504
Navigating Section 504, Webinar (.wmv)

Sample Section 504 Notice of Parent Rights
School districts must provide parents a copy of their rights and procedural safeguards before evaluating students for Section 504 eligibility.
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Discriminatory Harassment — Based on Disability
School staff must take steps to protect students from discriminatory harassment. This means the investigation of possible discriminatory harassment — as soon as they know or reasonably should know — even if a parent or student does not file a complaint.
Discriminatory Harassment — Equity and Civil Rights at OSPI

Section 504 in ALE Programs
Serving Students with Disabilities in ALE Webinar
Serving Students with Disabilities in ALE Guidelines
Access to School District Online Programs (Guidelines: Prohibiting Discrimination, pages 23–24)

Americans with Disabilities Act
Information Line
ADA Title II Technical Assistance Manual

Service Animals
Students and Service Animals (Guidelines: Prohibiting Discrimination, pages 21–23)
FAQs about Service Animals and the ADA

State Policy

Federal Policy and Guidance

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Questions?
equity@k12.wa.us
360-725-6162

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TTY: 360-664-3631

   Updated 11/9/2017

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