Section 504 Overview
Section 504 of the American Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is Civil Rights legislation intended to prohibit discrimination and to protect the rights of individuals with disabilities. Section 504 states, “No otherwise qualified individual with a disability shall solely by reason of his/her disability, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subject to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.” Since CHCCS receives federal dollars, it is required to provide eligible disabled students with equal access to services, programs, and activities offered by our district. Section 504 is a civil rights statute and not a special education statute. Therefore, it is the responsibility of regular education staff and building administration to implement those practices and procedures necessary for a school to fulfill the requirements of this law. It is also important to understand that schools receive no additional funding to implement Section 504 procedures or accommodations. At each school, the responsibility for insuring Section 504 compliance rests with the building principal or principal’s designee.
Each school in our district has a designated Section 504 Contact who implements the 504 process and oversees all 504 accommodation plans.
Section 504 Parent Concerns
The board encourages the resolution of concerns and complaints whenever possible. To this end, the board has provided opportunities for students and parents to express their concerns through processes established in board policies. Board policy 1710, Discrimination and Harassment Prohibited by Federal Law identifies these different processes and provides a mechanism for resolving complaints in an informal manner. The following steps could be utilized for sharing 504 concerns in an informal manner.
1. Speak to the school’s 504 coordinator to share your concerns.
2. Speak to the classroom teacher if the concern is related to the 504 classroom modifications.
3. Speak to the school administrator.
4. Contact Rebecca Atkins, Director of School Counseling and Learning Supports at 919.967.8211 or firstname.lastname@example.org
While the board strongly encourages informal resolutions, the board recognizes that students and parents may want a more formal process for certain types of complaints or if the informal process did not produce satisfactory results.