Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is a federal civil rights law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability. The law applies to public elementary and secondary schools and other federally funded institutions. Under Section 504, denying a disabled student a free appropriate public education constitutes disability discrimination.
In a school setting, Section 504 applies to students who:
- have a physical or mental impairment
- that substantially limits one or more major life activities and
- because of the disability, require accommodations, special instruction, and/or services in order to participate in and/or benefit from school as adequately as their non-disabled peers.