The Section 504 Rehabilitation Act Program (Section 504) for the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) enables a student with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities to receive accommodations and/or related services to ensure equal access to education. The Section 504 is basically civil rights legislation for persons with disabilities who meet the definition of disability in the Act. Public schools must provide for Section 504 because they receive Federal funding for various programs.
The Rehabilitation Act was passed as Public Law 93-112 in 1973, with the regulations going into effect in 1977. The primary areas that apply to public schools are those that focus on employment practices, program accessibility, and preschool, elementary and secondary education.
Students who, because of a disability, need or are believed to need special accommodations and/or related services are provided for under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. Under the law, a disabled student is one who has: (a) a mental or physical impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activity, (b) has a record of such an impairment, or (c) is regarded as having an impairment.
Major life activities includes functions such as caring for one’s self, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning and working. As of January 2009, additional examples of major life activities included e.g., eating, standing, concentrating, thinking and a non-exhaustive list of “examples of bodily functions” that are major life activities, such at digestive, neurologic, brain, endocrine and reproductive functions.
Any student who needs or is believed to need Section 504 accommodations and/or services because of a disability or suspected disabillity should be referred for evaluation for eligibility to the school's Student Success Team/504 Team.