Section 504 is a civil rights law referring to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act, which specify that no one with a disability can be excluded from participating in federally funded programs or activities such as public schooling. Section 504 ensures that a child with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities has equal access to education through the use of accommodations and modifications to educational programming. Major life activities include caring for one’s self, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, working, and learning, to name a few. Section 504 mandates that public school districts offer a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) to eligible students with disabilities.
A 504 Plan is intended for children with a wide range of disabilities who are, nevertheless, able to participate and succeed in the general education setting. This differs from children in need of specially designed instruction via Special Education. The accommodations and modifications listed on a child’s 504 Plan are designed to give that student an opportunity to perform at the same level as typical peers. These accommodations and modifications “level the playing field” so the students can safely seek the same educational opportunities as all other students.
If you know of a child or young adult for whom you suspect a disability, please contact the school counselor or the Jennifer Bencko, at Jennifer.Bencko@chagrinschools.org or 440-247-5500 ext. 4014.
Please contact Mrs. Bencko if you have a related complaint or you may file a complaint with the Regional Office of Civil Rights by phone at 216-787-3150 or TTY: 614-752-2391.
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