Section 504 is a Federal Program that is utilized to protect the civil rights of students.
An Introduction for Parents
Section 504 is part of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and applies to all institutions receiving federal financial assistance, such as public schools. The law essentially places an obligation on public schools to provide a free appropriate public education to children with disabilities, along with related services such as transportation and counseling. The main purpose of 504 is to prohibit discrimination while assuring that disabled students have educational opportunities and benefits equal to those provided to non-disabled students. Although Section 504 took effect in 1973, many states have not developed policies or guidelines on 504. Section 504 is anti-discrimination legislation, not a federal grant program. The Office of Civil Rights (OCR) monitors compliance under 504. Unlike special education laws, Section 504 does not provide financial support to schools.