Section 504

Introduction of Section 504

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 - Simply States:

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

Three federal laws have had a significant impact on the ways in which school districts address the rights and needs of individuals with disabilities. They are Section 504 of the Vocational Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA).

In 1973, the Vocational Rehabilitation Act was signed into law. As part of the act, Section 504 provided that individuals cannot be discriminated against solely on the basis of their disabilities. Section 504 became the first federal civil rights law to protect the rights of persons with disabilities. The law protects every school-aged child who meets the broad definition of a person with a disability, i.e., (1) has , or (2) has had a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity, or (3) is regarded as disabled by others. Major life activities include walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, working, caring, for oneself, and performing manual tasks.

ADA (Title II) vs. Section 504

  • Provides a clear and comprehensive national mandate to end discrimination against individuals with disabilities

  • Provides that those with disabilities must have an equally effective opportunity to participate in or benefit from County programs, services, and activities

  • Provides enforceable standards
  • Prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in any program or activity of state or local government that receives federal funds

  • Responds more to the needs of students with disabilities

  • Imposes procedural safeguards and a FAPE requirement very similar to IDEA

For information please contact the Section 504 Liaison at your school.

Further information can be obtained by contacting:
Director, Psychological Services
600 SE Third Avenue, 5th Floor
Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33301
(754) 321-2460

PDF 504 Notification Flyer - English
PDF 504 Notification Flyer - Spanish
PDF 504 Notification Flyer - Haitian Creole
PDF 504 Notification Flyer - Portuguese