Section 504 is a part of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, a civil rights statute focused on the prevention of discrimination. The purpose of Section 504 is to prohibit discrimination based on disability. Section 504 has no age limits and serves all disabilities.
How Does Section 504 Define Disability?
Section 504 offers a very broad and inclusive definition of disability. Under Section 504, a person may be considered disabled if the individual: has a mental or physical impairment, which substantially limits one or more major life activities. Persons protected from discrimination include those who have: a record of such impairment; or is regarded as having such impairment. Major life activities include, but are not limited to: caring for one's self, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, reading, concentrating, thinking, communicating, and working. Major bodily functions are also included, such as functions of the immune system, normal cell growth, digestive, bowel, bladder, neurological, brain, respirator, circulatory, endocrine, and reproductive functions.
What is the Difference Between a 504 Plan and an Individual Health Plan?
An individual health plan (IHP) outlines the medical needs of a child at school. A 504 plan includes accommodations beyond medical needs outlined in an IHP. Although children with an IHP are considered covered by Section 504, not all children with an IHP need an individual 504 accommodation plan.