Congress passed section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act in 1973. It is a civil rights statute designed to prevent discrimination against individuals with disabilities. It states that:
No otherwise qualified individual with handicaps in the United States, shall, solely by reason of his / her handicap, be excluded from the participation in, be denied benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination. . . .
Major life activities include seeing, hearing, speaking, walking, breathing, learning, working, caring for oneself, and performing manual tasks.
The 504-Plan is designed to accommodate the unique needs of an individual with a disability, as required by the American with Disabilities Act (ADA). Children who have disabilities, but whose disabilities do not interfere with their ability to progress in general education are not eligible for special education services, may be entitled to a 504 Accommodation Plan. Specialized instruction, modifications to the curriculum, accommodations in non-academic and extra-curricular activities, adaptive equipment or assistive technology devices, an aide, assistance with health related needs, school transportation, or other related services and accommodations may be provided. 504 students need access to the curriculum, but they can learn from the regular education curriculum. (SMCOE SELPA)