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Section 504

  • By: Tom E. C. Smith
  • In: Encyclopedia of School Psychology
  • Edited by: Steven W. Lee
  • Subject:School/Educational Psychology (general), School Psychology, Educational Psychology

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is a major piece of federal antidiscrimination legislation designed to protect the civil rights of individuals with disabilities. For years, section 504 was concerned with employment practices. Recently, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has become more concerned with enforcing section 504 in education.

No state or local school district that receives federal funds can discriminate against students, parents, or staff members with disabilities. While section 504 is frequently considered with reference to making academic accommodations for students with disabilities, it also applies to providing accommodations such as ramps to get into schools, adequacy of restrooms for wheelchairs, and other accommodations for students, parents, and staff with disabilities.

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