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Section 504

Section 504 requires school districts to provide Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) to children with disabilities, who may benefit from public education, within the individual district's jurisdiction. Regardless of the child's disability, the school district must identify the child's educational needs and provide any regular or special education to satisfy the child's educational needs just as well as it does for the children without disabilities. This may be accomplished by developing an education plan for the child. When done so under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, it is referred to as a 504 plan. This 504 plan covers accommodations, services, and support the child will be receiving in order to have access to education at school. 

Section 504 also supports rights for students for needs outside of the school day, such as extracurricular activities, sports, and after-school care, because Section 504 prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability. While the process for accommodating students varies per institution, schools generally comply with Section 504 by identifying students with disabilities and evaluating those students. If the students are eligible, they create a written accommodation plan, often called a "504 Plan." It is similar to, but often shorter than, the IDEA Individualized Education Program (IEP). Parents, teachers, and school staff are a part of the evaluation process. 

A student who may need specialized instruction or programs within the intent of Section 504 is one who:

  • Has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of life’s major activities; or
  • Has a record of such impairment; or
  • It is regarded as having such an impairment.

Students may be eligible under the provisions of Section 504 even though they do not require services pursuant to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Parents who believe that they have a child who may qualify for special services or programs under Section 504 should contact the Campus 504 Coordinator at the home campus. In addition, parents who believe that they have a child who may qualify for special education services or programs under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA) should contact the home campus office for more information.

Violations of Section 504 in the educational environment can be addressed locally with the education agency or with the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) of the U.S. Department of Education. 

504 fact sheet

504 fact sheet spanish

Test Accommodations for College Board and ACT Tests

Accommodations for these tests require a separate process from test accommodations which may be offered in a student's IEP or Section 504 plan within Chapel Hill ISD.  Even if your student has accommodations specified within his or her CHISD- developed IEP or Section 504 plan, there is no guarantee he or she will be allowed them during the administration of the College Board and ACT tests.  The allowance for test accommodation is determined solely by the College Board and ACT testing services.  Families, and not CHISD staff, are ultimately responsible for obtaining these accommodations.  Although CHISD will assist with the applications as a courtesy for all students with IEPs and 504 plans for families who timely follow the application process, families have the ability to submit their requests directly to the College Board and ACT test services. Any additional educational and neuropsychological testing needed for or requested by the College Board or ACT testing service offices is the responsibility of the family and will not be provided by CHISD staff.  Families will receive notification directly from the College Board or ACT testing services on the accommodations granted.  It is important for families to adhere strictly to the specified or recommended timelines for submitting all requests for accommodation and to provide whatever documentation is specified. This includes making requests to the appropriate CHISD staff within designated timelines as well as the timelines requested by the College Board or the ACT test services offices. Failure to timely submit the requested information to either the testing services or CHISD staff may result in your student's inability to be allowed accommodation for his or her test.

For more information on submitting accommodation requests to  College Board, please ​visit ​their website.