Office of Student Support Services
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, a federal civil rights law, prohibits discrimination on the basis of a disability. A person with a disability is defined as having a physical or mental impairment that limits one or more major life activity, including walking, seeing, hearing and aspects of learning such as reading, writing and calculating. The law requires schools to eliminate any barriers that prevent students with such disabilities from participating fully in their education. It requires a written 504 Plan setting forth reasonable accommodations that will be made to give the child equal educational access.
The definition of a qualified individual with a disability under Section 504 covers a broader population than the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act which covers what is known as Special Education. A qualified individual under Section 504 is any person who (1) has a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities, (2) has a record of such an impairment, or (3) is regarded as having such an impairment.
- “Physical or mental impairment” means (a) any physiological disorder or condition, cosmetic disfigurement or anatomical loss affecting one or more of the following body systems: neurological, musculo skeletal, special sense organs, respiratory including speech organs, cardiovascular, reproductive, digestive, genitourinary, hemic and lymphatic skin, and endocrine, or (b) any mental or psychological disorder such as intellectual disability, organic brain syndrome, emotional or mental illness, specific learning disability, attention disorders, mood disorders or learning disabilities (this list is not exhaustive).
- “Has a record of such an impairment” means has a history of, or has been misclassified as having, a mental or physical impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.
- “Is regarded as having an impairment” means (a) has a physical or mental impairment that does not substantially limit major life activities, but is treated by a recipient as constituting such limitation, (b) has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits major life activities only as a result of the attitudes of others toward such impairment; or (c) has none of the impairments defined in section one above, but is treated by a recipient as having such an impairment.
For information on Section 504, please contact the Section 504 Coordinator assigned to your child’s school (principal or assistant principal) or the District's 504 Coordinator.
Alice L. Brown-LeGrand
Director of Student Support Services
Wilmington Public Schools
Title 9 Coordinator
Section 504 Coordinator