Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE)

Public school districts are required to provide students with disabilities appropriate educational services that are designed to meet their needs to the same extent as their non-disabled peers.  Schools must make reasonable accommodations to avoid discrimination, unless doing so would fundamentally alter the nature of the services or programming being provided.  Schools are not required to alter the curriculum or reduce expectations for students eligible under Section 504, but they must provide accommodations that compensate for students’ disabilities and allow them an equal opportunity to achieve at the same level as their peers.


Accommodations can be made with respect to presentation of content, student responses, instructional setting and timing, or scheduling. Students eligible for Section 504 services may benefit from one of more of the following types of interventions:


Extending or adjusting time; allowing frequent breaks, varying activity often, omitting assignments that require timed situations


Leaving class for academic assistance; preferential seating; altering physical room arrangement


Differentiating instructional approach (visual, auditory, tactile, multi), individualizing/ small group instruction, taping lectures for replay, demonstrating/modeling, using manipulatives/hands-on activities, pre-teaching vocabulary, utilizing advance organizers; providing visual cues

Materials and Equipment/Assistive Technology

Recording texts, highlighting material, supplementing materials/laminating materials, note taking assistance/copies from others; using calculator, computer, word processor


Giving directions in small, distinct steps; allowing copying from paper/book; using written back-up for oral directions, adjusting length of assignment, changing format of assignment (matching, multiple choice, fill-in-blank, etc.)

(John’s Hopkins School of Education)


Although most modifications fundamentally alter the nature of the instructional programs, some modifications may be appropriate for students entitled to Section 504 services. These may include testing adaptations and/or grading modifications.