Section 504 Coordinator:
912-267-4100 ext. 1310
Congress prohibited discrimination against persons with disabilities in the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, in a segment most often referred to simply as “Section 504.” This was a broadly worded prohibition that covers both children and adults. It applies to programs that receive any federal financial assistance. The principles enumerated in this section were later expanded and served as the basis for the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). On September 25, 2008, the President signed the Americans with Disabilities Amendments Act (ADAAA) of 2008. The ADAAA became effective on January 1, 2009. It emphasizes that the definition of disability should be construed in favor of broad coverage of individuals to the maximum extent permitted by the terms of the ADA and generally shall not require extensive analysis.
As defined by Section 504 and ADAAA, the basic definition of disability includes three prongs:
- A physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities;
- A record of such an impairment; or
- Being regarded as having such an impairment
It is important to remember that the presence of one of these conditions in itself does not qualify an individual for 504 protection. The impairment must also cause a substantial limitation of a major life activity. The second and third prongs of the definition do not provide accommodations to the individuals. These prongs simply afford the individual with protection from discrimination.
Major life activities include but are not limited to:
Under the ADAAA, the positive effects of mitigating measures such as medication may NOT be considered in the Section 504 evaluation in determining eligibility.
Requests for Section 504 evaluations should be made to the School Counselor.