What Is Section 504?

Section 504 is a portion of the Rehabilitation Act of l973, a piece of civil rights legislation.  It provides that:

"No otherwise qualified individual with a disability in the United States…shall, solely by reason of his disability, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under, any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance…”

Because public schools receive federal financial assistance, they are subject to this law. 

Under Section 504 a student is a “qualified individual with a disability” if he or she has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity.  A student would also receive the protections of Section 504 under certain circumstances in which a school district treated the student as if he or she had a disability and denied or limited the student’s access to its programs for that reason.

The phrase “physical or mental impairment” refers to a wide variety of mental and physical disorders and conditions.  The term “major life activity” is also very broad and includes functions such as caring for one’s self, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, thinking, working, eating, sleeping, concentrating, and communicating.  It also includes major bodily functions such as the immune system, endocrine system, and normal cell growth.  In order to meet Section 504 eligibility criteria, a person’s impairment must limit a major life activity substantially.

For further information, contact Montgomery County Public School’s Section 504 Coordinator, Natalie Mey, by telephone at (540) 382-5100 ext. 1021 or by e-mail at nataliemey@mcps.org.

Montgomery County Public Schools does not discriminate in its programs and activities for reasons of race, religion, color, gender, national origin, disability, age, or on any other basis prohibited by law.  The following persons have been designated to handle inquiries regarding non-discrimination

Director of Human Resources and Director of Secondary Education
750 Imperial Street, SE
Christiansburg, VA  24073
(540) 382-5100

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