Schools must provide a free appropriate public education to students with disabilities in its jurisdiction who are eligible under Section 504. Instruction must be provided to meet the needs of those students as adequately as the needs of students without disabilities. This standard of what is "appropriate" differs from the IDEA "appropriate" standards, which requires the school to design a program reasonably calculated to confer educational benefit. An appropriate education under Section 504/ADA requires that the services be effective and fair.

Although Section 504 does not require schools to develop an Individualized Education Program with annual goals or an accommodation plan, the school should provide written documentation for each student identified and provide accommodations and/or services under Section 504. If the Building Level Support Team determines a possible need for accommodation, a referral should be made, and evaluations conducted. If the student is identified as having a disability that is substantially limiting, has a record of such an impairment or is regarded as having such an impairment, the team may develop a Section 504 Accommodation Plan.

Section 504 should fall under the management of general education. School staff and parents should collaborate to help ensure that students are provided accommodations through general education. The exception to this standard is a student who has been determined as having a disability under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Such a student could receive special education services under IDEA and accommodations under Section 504. If a student is on an IEP, Section 504 accommodations will be included if the student has been determined to have a disability.

The regional Office for Civil Rights for North Dakota is located at:

Chicago Office
Office for Civil Rights
U.S. Department of Education
Citigroup Center
500 W. Madison St., Suite 1475
Chicago, IL   60661

Telephone:  (312) 730-1560
FAX:   (312) 730-1576
TDD:   (877) 521-2172