Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is a federal law that protects qualified individuals from discrimination based on their disability. The law forbids school districts and other organizations that receive federal funds from excluding or denying individuals with disabilities an equal opportunity to participate in and receive the benefits of the organization’s programs and services. Section 504 requires public school districts to provide a free and appropriate public education (FAPE) to students with disabilities.
Section 504 requires that students with disabilities receive access and opportunities to benefit from educational programs and services comparable to those provided to non-disabled students. School districts may not offer separate programs or services to students with disabilities, unless such programs are necessary to provide FAPE. It is illegal for schools to provide unequal or less effective programs or services to students with disabilities.