Section 504 Fundamentals
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Microcredential ID : 3034
Educational Equity
0.5 USBE Credit


This microcredential will allow educators to demonstrate competency with their understanding and implementation of the requirements of Section 504 law and how they support students with disabilities.

No standards provided.
How To Earn This Microcredential

To earn this microcredential you will collect and submit three sets of evidence demonstrating your understanding and implementation of the requirements of Section 504 law. You will also complete a written or video reflective analysis.

If you submit this microcredential for review, you will be assessed an administrative fee of $20.00.

Section 504 is a federal civil rights law designed to protect the rights of individuals with disabilities in programs and activities that receive Federal financial assistance from the United States Department of Education (34 CFR Part 104 The Office for Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Education states, "No otherwise qualified individual with a disability in the United States...shall, solely by reason of [their] disability, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal Financial assistance (34 CFR 104.4(a)).” Section 504 protects all students with disabilities including students who are covered under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). All educators have a responsibility to proactively identify, locate, and evaluate students with disabilities who may qualify for services. Section 504 requires a level playing field for students with disabilities, not an unfair advantage. This means that students with disabilities have the same or equal access to curriculum and activities as students without disabilities.

Important Terms
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA):

A civil rights law enacted in 1990 that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including jobs, schools, transportation, and all public and private places that are open to the general public. The purpose of the law is to make sure that people with disabilities have the same rights and opportunities as individuals without disabilities.

Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Ac:

A law signed in September 2008 which became effective on January 1, 2009. Congress passed the Amendments Act in part to supersede Supreme Court decisions that had too narrowly interpreted the ADA's definition of a disability. As members of Congress explained, "The ADA Amendments Act rejects the high burden required [by the Supreme Court] and reiterates that Congress intends that the scope of the Americans with Disabilities Act be broad and inclusive. It is the intent of the legislation to establish a degree of functional limitation required for an impairment to constitute a disability that is consistent with what Congress originally intended (154 Cong. Rec. S8342).”

The Amendments Act not only amends the ADA but also includes a conforming amendment to the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 that affects the meaning of disability in Section 504 (29 USC 705(20)(B)). All persons covered by Section 504 or Title II are protected from discrimination under the general nondiscrimination regulatory provisions implementing these statutes, which cover program and physical accessibility requirements, as well as protection against retaliation and harassment (28 CFR. 35; 34 CFR 104.4, 104.21-23, 104.61; 34 CFR 100.7(e)). The Amendments Act does not alter the school district's substantive obligations under Section 504 or Title II. Rather, it amends the ADA and Section 504 to broaden the potential class of persons with disabilities protected by the statutes.

Child Find:

A legal requirement included in the Individual Students with Disabilities Act (IDEA) and Section 504 that schools identify, locate, and evaluate all children who have disabilities and who may be entitled to special education/504 protections.


The ADA's current definition of disability means, with respect to a person, “(1) a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, (2) a record of such an impairment, or (3) being regarded as having such an impairment (42 USC 12102(1)).”

Episodic Impairment:

An impairment that only occurs periodically (that is, it is episodic) or is in remission. An episodic impairment is considered a disability if when in an active phase, it would substantially limit a major life activity. For example, a student with epilepsy is a student with a disability if, during a seizure, the student is substantially limited in a major life activity such as thinking, breathing, or neurological function. Or, a student with bipolar disorder is a person with a disability if, during manic or depressive episodes, the student is substantially limited in a major life activity such as concentrating or brain function.

Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE):

A term used in the elementary and secondary school context; for purposes of Section 504, refers to the provision of regular or special education, accommodations, and related aids and services that are designed to meet individual educational needs of students with disabilities as adequately as the needs of students without disabilities are met and is based upon adherence to procedures that satisfy the Section 504 requirements pertaining to an educational setting, evaluation and placement, and procedural safeguards (34 CFR 104.33).

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (:

A formula grant program that provides assistance to States, and through them to local school districts, to assist in providing special education and related services to children with disabilities. Special education is defined under the IDEA as specially designed instruction, at no cost to the parent(s)/guardian(s), to meet the unique needs of a child with a disability and related services are defined as supportive services that are required to assist a child with a disability to benefit from special education.

Individualized Healthcare Plan (IHP):

A plan that considers how to deal with what might happen with a student medically while the student is in school. It is designed to address medical issues that do not impact the student’s learning. An IHP is a formal agreement that outlines the student’s needs and a plan for addressing those needs. Parents or caregivers, the student, the student’s health care provider, a school nurse, and a multidisciplinary team of school staff work together to develop the IHP. It should be a separate document from a Section 504 Plan.

Major Life Activities:

Include, but are not limited to, caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, seeing, hearing, eating, sleeping, walking, standing, lifting, bending, speaking, breathing, learning, reading, concentrating, thinking, communicating, and working. Under the ADAAA, "major life activities" are expanded to include "major bodily functions." Major Bodily Functions include, but are not limited to, functions of the immune system, normal cell growth, digestive, bowel, bladder, neurological, brain, respiratory, circulatory, endocrine, and reproductive functions (42 USC 12102(2)).

Manifestation Determination:

The evaluation of the relationship between a student’s disability and an act of misconduct that must be undertaken when a district proposes to change the student’s placement by imposing disciplinary removals. Under Section 504, a district is required to conduct a manifestation determination before suspension or expulsion of a student with a disability if the disciplinary action constitutes a significant change in placement.

Mitigating Measure:

May include (not an exhaustive list):

(I) medication, medical supplies, equipment, or appliances, low-vision devices (which do not include ordinary eyeglasses or contact lenses), prosthetics including limbs and devices, hearing aids and cochlear implants, or other implantable hearing devices, mobility devices, or oxygen therapy equipment and supplies;

(II) use of assistive technology;

(III) reasonable accommodations or auxiliary aids or services; or

(IV) learned behavioral or adaptive neurological modifications (42 USC 12102(4)(E)).

The determination of whether an impairment substantially limits a major life activity shall be made without regard to the ameliorative effects of mitigating measures. Some examples of mitigating measures include medication for conditions like epilepsy, Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), or mental health impairments; insulin used to control diabetes; prosthetic devices; walkers, canes, and crutches; and hearing aids. Note, the ameliorative effects of the mitigating measures of ordinary eyeglasses or contact lenses shall be considered in determining whether an impairment substantially limits a major life activity.


Any technique that alters the work required in such a way that it differs in substance from the work required of other students in the same class. Examples of possible modifications include a student completing work on part of an assignment or an alternate assignment or test that is more easily achievable than the standard assignment.

Office for Civil Rights (OCR):

A sub-agency of the U.S. Department of Education that is primarily focused on enforcing civil rights laws prohibiting schools from engaging in discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, or age. OCR’s mission is to ensure equal access to education and to promote educational excellence through vigorous enforcement of civil rights in our nation’s schools. An important responsibility is resolving complaints of discrimination. Agency-initiated cases, typically called compliance reviews, permit OCR to target resources on compliance problems that appear particularly acute. OCR also provides technical assistance to help institutions achieve voluntary compliance with the civil rights laws that OCR enforces. An important part of OCR's technical assistance is partnerships designed to develop creative approaches to preventing and addressing discrimination.

Physical or Mental Impairments:

(A) any physiological disorder or condition, cosmetic disfigurement, or anatomical loss affecting one or more of the following body systems: neurological; musculoskeletal; special sense organs; respiratory, including speech organs; cardiovascular; reproductive, digestive, genito‑urinary; hemic and lymphatic; skin; and endocrine; or (B) any mental or psychological disorder, such as mental retardation, organic brain syndrome, emotional or mental illness, and specific learning disabilities (34 CFR 104.3(2)(i)). The definition does not include all specific diseases and conditions that may be physical or mental impairments because of the difficulty of ensuring the completeness of such a list.

Procedural Safeguards:

The system designed to protect the rights of the parent(s)/guardian(s) and their child with a disability and, at the same time, give families and school systems several mechanisms by which to resolve their disputes. Parental safeguards include “notice, an opportunity for the parents or guardian of the person to examine relevant records, an impartial hearing with opportunity for participation by the person's parents or guardian and representation by counsel, and a review procedure (34 CFR 104.36).”

Reasonable Accommodation:

A term used in the employment context to refer to modifications or adjustments employers make to a job application process, the work environment, the manner or circumstances under which the position held or desired is customarily performed, or that enable a covered entity's employee with a disability to enjoy equal benefits and privileges of employment; this term is sometimes used incorrectly to refer to related aids and services in the elementary and secondary school context or to refer to academic adjustments, reasonable modifications, and auxiliary aids and services in the postsecondary school context.

Record of a Disability:

Relates to an individual who has either has a history of a disability or has been misclassified as having a mental or physical impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities (34 CFR 104.3 (i)(iii)). For example, a person who had heart disease, cancer, or a mental illness, may have a record of a disability, but no longer have the impairment. An example of misclassification is a school district that incorrectly identified a student as having a learning disability when further testing revealed the student’s issues were caused by the need for ordinary eyeglasses and the student does not have a learning disability. A student who has a record of a disability may or may not need special education or related aids and services. Section 504 does not obligate a school district to provide aids or services that a student does not need. But, even if a student with a disability does not need services, the student is protected from disability-based discrimination under Section 504’s general nondiscrimination requirements.

Regarded as Having a Disability:

Relates to an individual who establishes that they have been subjected to an action because of an actual or perceived physical or mental impairment whether or not the impairment limits or is perceived to limit a major life activity (42 USC 12102(3)).

For example, a student who does not have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity but who is not allowed on the soccer team because of the false belief that the student has the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) would be regarded as having a disability. Note, although the student in this instance is not entitled to receive accommodations, the student is nevertheless protected from disability-based discrimination under Section 504’s general nondiscrimination requirements.

Related Service:

A term used in the elementary and secondary school context to refer to “transportation and such developmental, corrective, and other supportive services as are required to assist a child with a disability to benefit from special education, and includes speech-language pathology and audiology services, interpreting services, psychological services, physical and occupational therapy, recreation, including therapeutic recreation, early identification, and assessment of disabilities in children, counseling services, including rehabilitation counseling, orientation and mobility services, and medical services for diagnostic or evaluation purposes. Related services also include school health services and school nurse services, social work services in schools, and parent counseling and training (34 CFR 300.34).


Section 504 incorporates the anti-retaliation provision of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which states that “No recipient or other person shall intimidate, threaten, coerce, or discriminate against any individual for the purpose of interfering with any right or privilege...or because he has made a complaint, testified, assisted, or participated in any manner in an investigation, proceeding or hearing under this part (34 CFR 100.7).”

Section 504 Plan:

Formal plans for how a school will support a student with a disability and remove barriers to learning. It covers any condition that limits daily activities in a major way. The goal is to give the student equal access to a FAPE.

Section 504 Team:

A multi-disciplinary committee gathered to evaluate a student for Section 504 eligibility. The committee should include persons knowledgeable about the student, the meaning of the evaluation data, and the placement options (34 CFR 104.35 (c)).

Substantially Limiting :

There is no definition of substantial limitation in the Section 504 regulations. Many Local Education Agencies (LEAs) follow the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) definition of “substantial limited.” The EEOC instructed that a person was substantially limited when they were: “(i) Unable to perform a major life activity that the average person in the general population can perform; or (ii) Significantly restricted as to the condition, manner or duration under which an individual can perform a particular major life activity as compared to the condition, manner, or duration under which the average person in the general population can perform that same major life activity.” 29 CFR 1630.2(j)(1)(i)&(ii).” An impairment need not prevent, or significantly or severely restrict, the individual from performing a major life activity to be considered substantially limiting. Factors to be considered in determining whether an impairment substantially limits major life activities are its nature and severity, how long it will last or is expected to last, and its permanent or long-term impact, or expected impact. Making a determination if an impairment is substantially limiting is to be decided by a Section 504 team on a case-by-case basis according to the individual student’s needs.

Technical Eligibility:

A physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity but does not require any services. A technically eligible student who does not require services remains protected by the general nondiscrimination provisions of Section 504 and Title II because they will be considered a person with a “record of an impairment” (See, e.g, January 2012 Dear Colleague Letter; Memphis (MI) Community Schools, 54 IDELR 61 (OCR 2009); Oxnard (CA) Union High School District, 55 IDELR 21 (OCR 2009)).

Temporary Impairment:

A temporary illness, injury, or condition (e.g., concussion, broken limb, short-term impairments after surgery) does not constitute a disability for purposes of Section 504 unless its severity is such that it results in a substantial limitation of one or more major life activities for an extended period of time. The issue of whether a temporary impairment is substantial enough to be a disability must be resolved on a case-by-case basis, taking into consideration both the duration (or expected duration) of the impairment and the extent to which it actually limits a major life activity of the affected individual.

In the Amendments Act, Congress clarified that an individual is not “regarded as” an individual with a disability if the impairment is transitory and minor. A transitory impairment is an impairment with an actual or expected duration of six months or less.

Background Scenario / How This Will Help You

Elementary Scenario 1 – Suspected Disability & Evaluation

Carmen is a fourth-grade student at their local public elementary school. Their teacher notices that Carmen has trouble concentrating during class lessons and that it takes Carmen significantly longer than most students to complete in-class assignments. While the teacher acknowledges that it is very difficult for Carmen to stay seated and on-task, they do not think Carmen needs special education services because they are earning B’s and C’s. What should the teacher do? In this situation, Carmen’s teacher needs to inform the proper individuals in the school system that Carmen may need to be evaluated. It is only through an evaluation process that a school district can properly determine if a student has a disability and needs Section 504 accommodations. Note that grades alone, whether good or bad, do not necessarily indicate whether a student has or does not have a disability. Even if Carmen does not require special education, they could still receive other Section 504 accommodations if they meet the Section 504 definition of disability and are in need of related aids or services or supplemental services. For example, Carmen may have ADHD and may, because of their ADHD, need extra time to complete assignments and assistance from a classroom aide to stay on task during class. However, even if Carmen does not require either special education, accommodations, or related aids and services, as long as they are a student with a disability under Section 504, they are still protected under that law from other forms of discrimination (for example, bullying and harassment). The teacher’s referral of Carmen for evaluation is central to complying with Section 504 here. Once Carmen is referred for an evaluation the 504 Coordinator should contact their parent and provide them a copy of the parent procedural safeguards and request consent to evaluate. Once consent is received, a Section 504 team will determine eligibility and accommodations can be put into place to meet Carmen’s needs.

Elementary Scenario 2 – Disabilities in Remission

Doctors diagnosed Omar with cancer at the beginning of the summer break, between fourth grade and fifth grade. When initially diagnosed, Omar was weak and tired all the time, and, at times, unable to even get out of bed or dress or feed themselves. Omar received chemotherapy in July and August and returned to school, without any symptoms of the disease, at the beginning of the school year. At that time Omar’s parents informed the school of the cancer diagnosis. It is now November and doctors have informed Omar’s parents that the disease appears to be in remission. Omar’s mom notes that they run and play like all the other children and their grades are great. How would a group of knowledgeable persons determine if Omar has a disability? A student who has an impairment that is episodic (for example, epilepsy or post-traumatic stress disorder) or in remission is considered to be a person with a disability if, when active (that is when symptoms are evident or reoccur), the impairment substantially limits a major life activity. When active, Omar’s illness left them weak and unable to get out of bed. In other words, when active, cancer substantially limits Omar’s ability to care for themselves which, under Federal law, is a major life activity. Moreover, cancer substantially limits the major bodily function of normal cell growth, which is also a major life activity under Federal law. For this reason, the group of knowledgeable persons would determine that Omar is a student with a disability. However, Omar may or may not require special education, accommodations, or related aids and services that are designed to meet their individual educational needs as adequately as the needs of students without disabilities are met. Even if Omar does not need special education, accommodations, or related aids and services, they would still be protected under Section 504, for example, from bullying and harassment based on their disability.

Elementary Scenario 3 – Extracurricular Activities

Celeste has a peanut allergy. Their fourth-grade class is going on a field trip to the local aquarium and Celeste’s father is told they must chaperone Celeste on the trip because the teachers will be very busy and cannot ensure that Celeste will be protected from exposure to peanuts or peanut products while on the trip, especially during the lunch break. Celeste’s father cannot go on the field trip because they have to go to work. As a result, the teachers tell Celeste they cannot attend the field trip. Celeste’s father complains to the principal, noting that no other parent/guardian is required to attend the field trip. Should the school have required Celeste’s father to attend the field trip? No. In this case, none of the parent(s)/guardian(s) of students without disabilities were told that they must attend the field trip; therefore, the school may not require Celeste’s father’s attendance simply because Celeste has a disability. Section 504 law and regulations prohibit discrimination on the basis of disability in all school programs and activities in public schools receiving direct or indirect federal funding. This includes extracurricular activities, field trips, school clubs, overnight trips, and any other school-sponsored programs. Under Section 504, the school is responsible for making it possible for Celeste to participate in this learning opportunity like their peers, without parent/guardian assistance.

Elementary Scenario 4 – Retaliation

Ms. Chen, the mother of a student with a disability, complained privately to the principal that her daughter and other students with disabilities are not receiving an appropriate education at the school. The situation did not improve so Ms. Chen raised the issue with the principal again at a recent Parent-Teacher Association meeting in front of other parent(s)/guardian(s) and teachers. The following week, Ms. Chen, who had been a helpful and effective classroom volunteer for many months, received a letter from the principal indicating that Ms. Chen can no longer volunteer in her student’s classroom. Moreover, the principal offered no explanation for this change in policy in the letter. Ms. Chen asks around and learns that none of the other parent/guardian volunteers received a similar letter. May the principal do that? It depends. Denying Ms. Chen's ability to volunteer in her student’s classroom would be unlawful retaliation if the school did so because she complained to the principal that her student was not receiving FAPE (either initially or in front of the Parent-Teacher Association). However, if the school did so for a legitimate reason (for example, because the parent was disrupting instruction or endangering students), then the school may not have violated Section 504. The ultimate determination will depend on whether the evidence indicates that the school’s actions were based on a legitimate reason for keeping Ms. Chen out of the classroom or if the school’s explanation was a rationalization for retaliation or if retaliation was a motivating factor in addition to the legitimate reason. In this case, the school had no evidence to suggest that Ms. Chen had been, or would likely be, disruptive or dangerous. Therefore, if the school allowed other parent(s)/guardian(s), who did not file a complaint, to continue to volunteer in class, these facts would suggest that forbidding Ms. Chen from volunteering based on concern about disrupting class or endangering students is a rationalization and that the sole reason for banning her from the class was to retaliate because she raised her concerns about services for students with disabilities.

Secondary Scenario 1 – Timeframes for Evaluation

Mr. Williams is very concerned. In September, two weeks after the new school year began, his 16-year-old child, Ruben, told him that they were having a hard time hearing their teacher and, as a result, they were unable to take detailed notes during class lectures. The school promised to evaluate Ruben, and Mr. Williams consented to the evaluation before the end of September. However, it is now December and, to date, Ruben has not been evaluated. Should the school have completed the evaluation before December? Most likely, yes. Section 504 does not provide a specific amount of time for LEAs to complete an evaluation. However, under the IDEA, an initial evaluation must be conducted within 60 days (45 school days under Utah Special Education Rules) of receiving parental consent for the evaluation. OCR generally looks to the IDEA timeline, or if applicable, to State requirements, or local district policy, to assess the reasonableness of the time it takes the school to evaluate the student once parental consent has been obtained.

Secondary Scenario 2 – Disagreement Over Need to Evaluate

Maya is a good student who has an A in reading, an A in math, and a B in each of her other classes. Maya maintains these grades even though she has been absent several times since the beginning of the school year for a gastrointestinal disorder. In addition, she often has to leave school early because of vomiting. Maya’s mom took Maya to the doctor and, the following week, Maya’s mom presented Maya’s teacher with a medical report indicating that Maya suffers from gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Maya’s mom then asked the teacher if the school would evaluate Maya to see if she is eligible for Section 504 accommodations. The teacher told Maya’s mom not to worry, noting that an evaluation “is not necessary at this time because Maya continues to do well in all her classes.” The teacher then promised to let Maya’s mother know immediately if Maya’s grades begin to decline. Should the teacher have responded in this manner?

No. Not every illness will automatically result in Section 504 protection for the affected student. On the other hand, even if a student earns good grades, they may still have a disability. For example, even if Maya’s disease did not interfere with her ability to attend school, she might still be determined to be a student with a disability under Section 504 because the disease substantially limits a major life activity (that is, the ability to digest food). In such a situation, Maya may not need special education, accommodations, or related aids and services; however, she would still be protected (for example, from bullying and harassment based on disability) under Section 504.

Given these specific facts—a medically-diagnosed problem with the student’s digestive system, and the parent’s report that the student is frequently forced to miss school because of this medical problem—Section 504 would require the school to refer Maya for a Section 504 evaluation to determine whether she needs special education, accommodations, or related aids and services, including modifications, because of a disability. Note that if the school fails to conduct an evaluation and it is later determined that a school evaluation was necessary and that Maya needed, but did not receive, special education, accommodations, and/or related aids and services, the school would be in violation of Section 504 and may be required to provide compensatory services for Maya for the period during which the school failed to offer a FAPE.

The Section 504 regulations require LEAs to draw upon information from a variety of sources in interpreting evaluation data and making placement decisions. In other words, while a medical diagnosis alone can inform school staff about whether a student has a disease that substantially limits a major life activity, it is unlikely that a medical diagnosis alone will also provide enough information for school staff to determine what accommodations the student needs. Other information that could also be collected and analyzed includes, for example, attendance records, parent/guardian information, grade reports, aptitude and achievement tests, teacher recommendations, the student’s physical condition, social or cultural background, and adaptive behavior. The type of tests and other information obtained will vary for each individual student depending on the suspected impairment.

In this scenario, Maya has a disability. Because Maya’s medically diagnosed impairment interferes with her ability to attend school, the school district may need to, among other things, modify how the school’s attendance policy applies to Maya to ensure that Maya is given extra time to complete assignments when she is absent because of her disability and that Maya is not penalized for absences resulting from her disability.

Finally, even if the teacher did not make the referral because they did not believe that Maya needed special education, accommodations, or related services as a result of her digestive disorder, the teacher or other school personnel should have provided Maya’s mother with a copy of the district’s procedural safeguards, which would include information about the opportunity to have an impartial hearing to resolve the disagreement over Maya’s need for an evaluation, and an opportunity to review her daughter’s records.

Secondary Scenario 3 – Reevaluations and FAPE

Salim is a student with a disability and they have a Section 504 plan. At the start of the spring semester, Salim received an out-of-school suspension for 12 consecutive school days. Is the school required to reevaluate Salim? Yes. Although the Section 504 regulations do not set a specific timeframe within which students with disabilities must be reevaluated to make sure that they are receiving the appropriate services, Section 504 requires schools to conduct reevaluations periodically, and before a significant change in placement. OCR considers an exclusion from the educational program of more than 10 consecutive school days to be a significant change in placement. In this example, the school must reevaluate Salim, prior to imposing the 11th day of suspension, to determine whether their misconduct is caused by or related to their disability (manifestation determination). If the misconduct is caused by or related to the disability the school must further evaluate to determine if their current placement is appropriate.

Secondary Scenario 4 – Procedural Safeguards

Ms. Lee told staff at her son’s school that she believes her son, Phillip, has a disability because he cannot seem to sit still and concentrate on his assignments. Although Ms. Lee has made multiple requests, the school has refused to evaluate Phillip because the teachers do not believe he has a disability. Ms. Lee does not receive any communication from the school about why they will not evaluate Phillip. Is the school’s approach permissible? No. A school cannot simply ignore a parent/guardian's request for their student to be evaluated, even if the school does not believe that the student has a disability. An LEA is required to establish, implement, and inform the parent(s)/guardian(s) about a system of procedural safeguards that are designed to help resolve FAPE-related disagreements regarding the identification, evaluation, or educational placement of a student. As part of this system, a school must notify the parent(s)/guardian(s) of any evaluation or placement actions and inform parent(s)/guardian(s) of their right to (i) examine records or documents that the school relied upon when making its decision about the student; (ii) request an impartial hearing that provides the parent(s)/guardian(s) with an opportunity to participate and permits representation by an attorney; and (iii) have an opportunity for review of the decision made at the hearing.

Evidence Options
Be sure to submit the type and number of pieces of evidence specified below.
Category: Preparation and Planning

Submit ONE of the evidence options listed below to demonstrate your effective and consistent preparation and planning to implement the requirements of Section 504.

Lesson Plan:

Submit a lesson plan for training to be provided to school or district staff on a Section 504 topic. The lesson plan should include enough material to provide thirty minutes or more training. Cite sources that will be used in the training materials.

Learning Intentions and Success Criteria:

State learning intentions and success criteria for your Section 504 training. Learning intentions focus on the goal of the learning. Success criteria should outline how participants can incorporate the information into their educational practices. State ways you will assess their understanding.

Student Performance Data:

Select a specific student’s case and annotate steps from start to finish of the 504 process, including a summary of how the 504 Team determined eligibility, completed an evaluation, describe the configuration of the 504 Team, how accommodations were determined, and how all teachers were notified of these accommodations. In addition, submit meeting summaries, the student’s 504 plan, and any of their pertinent information with all identifying information redacted.

Category: Implementation

Submit ONE of the evidence options listed below to demonstrate your effective implementation of the requirements of Section 504.


Submit a video of training provided to school or district staff on a Section 504 topic. It can be pre-recorded or in-person. The training should be provided to at least 10 individuals. It can be pre-recorded or in-person. The training should be 30 minutes or more in duration. Cite sources used in the training materials. Survey participants for feedback following the training. Submit evidence in the following acceptable formats: video recording, PowerPoint or other slide presentation, lesson plan outline, and written summary, Also, submit any resource artifacts (e.g., handouts and/or resource list).


Research and report on a common disability requiring accommodations under Section 504. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Mental health conditions
  • Concussions
  • Diabetes
  • ADHD
  • Dyslexia
  • Postsecondary transition planning
  • Allergies
  • Service animals
  • Autism
  • Discipline/manifestation determination

Include relevant case law, hearing findings, OCR resolutions, red flags, and potential accommodations. Cite resources.

Student Performance Data:

Submit data from a pre-assessment measuring learner understanding of Section 504 and its implementation prior to teaching a training or series of training. Then, submit data from a post-assessment to show how the learner's understanding of those concepts changed and expanded after working through the training(s). Assessments should include at least five questions.

Observation Results:

Submit observation results of a learning session you led on Section 504. The observation should comment on the use of materials (slides, boards, markers, etc.), research, and feedback from other participants. Observers should comment on your understanding of Section 504 and your perceived ability to transfer this understanding into practice.

Category: Supplemental

Submit ONE of the evidence options listed below to demonstrate your effective implementation of the requirements of Section 504.

Web Site:

Submit a link to a publicly accessible web site. The web site should include a Child Find notice, parental safeguards, and grievance procedures.

Review Criteria

Criterion 1: The evidence demonstrates sufficient level, quality, quantity, relevance, and accuracy. Criterion 2: The evidence demonstrates effectiveness of practice and implementation goals. Criterion 3: The evidence demonstrates sufficient understanding of Section 504 law, policies, practices, and common pitfalls.

Reflection Prompts

Describe how you use your understanding of Section 504 as consistent part of your educational practices.

Discuss how students and educators will benefit from your understanding and implementation of Section 504.

How do you plan to further develop and implement your understanding of Section 504 in the future?

Review Criteria

Criterion 1: The reflective analysis demonstrates an understanding of Section 504 and it is clear that this understanding is consistently implemented as a part of educators’ educational practices.
Criterion 2: The reflective analysis specifies how students and educators will benefit from the educator's understanding and implementation of Section 504. Criterion 3: The reflective analysis focuses on future action. It indicates the educator critically examines best practices and uses that to inform necessary changes in Section 504 implementation.

Utah State Board of Education Educational Equity Section 504 Web Page

The USBE Educational Equity web page offers many resources for educators and parent(s)/guardian(s), such as online training, forms, and links to information sources on supporting students with disabilities and legal requirements.

Special Ed Connection

Special Ed Connection houses an entire database of Section 504 related resources that will help you be more successful in your daily work and the support you provide to LEAs. In addition to the latest news, trends, and practical guidance pertaining to Section 504, Special Ed Connection® houses easily accessible resources that clarify the responsibility of meeting legal requirements for Section 504. Every LEA in Utah has access to this resource. Contact your special education director for the username and password.

Office for Civil Rights FAQ on Protecting Students with Disabilities

This document clarifies the requirements of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (Section 504) in the area of public elementary and secondary education. It incorporates information about the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008 (Amendments Act), effective January 1, 2009, which amended the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) and included a conforming amendment to the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 that affects the meaning of disability in Section 504.

Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education Section 504 Federal Code of Regulations

The purpose of this part is “to effectuate section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which is designed to eliminate discrimination on the basis of handicap in any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”

No text provided.
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