Ms. Lisa Kean
Coordinator of Special Services
Address: 211 Sherman Ave., Jersey City NJ 07307
Section 504 is a federal law designed to protect the rights of individuals with disabilities in programs and activities that receive Federal financial assistance from the U.S. Department of Education. Section 504 provides: “No otherwise qualified individual with a disability in the United States . . . shall, solely by reason of her or his disability, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance . . . .”
To be protected under Section 504, a student must be determined to: (1) have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities; or (2) have a record of such impairment; or (3) be regarded as having such impairment.
The determination of whether a student has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity must be made on the basis of an individual inquiry.
Major life activities, as defined in the Section 504 regulations, include functions such as caring for one’s self, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, and working. This list is not exhaustive.
Section 504 requires the use of evaluation procedures that ensure eligibility for services under this plan.
The Section 504 requires school districts to individually evaluate a student before classifying the student as having a disability or providing the student with special education.
A medical diagnosis of an illness does not automatically mean a student can receive services under Section 504. The illness must cause a substantial limitation on the student’s ability to learn or another major life activity.