Polk School District provides a free, appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment to all eligible students from ages three through their twenty-second birthday. This includes individualized instruction to meet the student’s educational needs to prepare the student for post-secondary education and/or employment, as well as independent living. A full continuum of special education and related service options are available. We strive to meet the needs of our students in a variety of settings using various instructional strategies and interventions. A program for preschool children is also available.
What is Section 504?
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973/Public law 93-112 is a comprehensive law that addresses the rights of handicapped persons (hereafter referred to as persons with disabilities except when quoting the law) and applies to all agencies receiving federal financial assistance. Eliminating barriers to education programs and services, increasing building accessibility, and establishing equitable employment practices are thoroughly and specifically addressed in Section 504 regulations. Section 504 states: No otherwise qualified handicapped individual shall, solely by reason of his/her handicap, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, be subject to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance. The regulation makes it clear that the failure to provide a free appropriate public education to a student with disabilities covered by Section 504 is discrimination which violates the Act.
Who is eligible for 504?
Under the provisions of Section 504, person eligible are those who:
1. have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities;
2. have a record or such an impairment; or
3. is regarded as having such an impairment.
Who determines if a student is eligible for Section 504?
Referrals begin at the local school level and are made to the 504 contact person. After the RTI process has been followed and a determination is made that the student is unable to progress, then the 504 team is convened to determine whether the student is eligible of a 504 accommodation plan.