Rehabilitation Act of 1973: Section 504

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    The Parent and Educator Resource Guide to Section 504 in Public Elementary and Secondary Schools, issued by the Department’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR), provides a broad overview of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Among other things, the Section 504 Parent and Educator Resource Guide:

    • Defines and provides examples to illustrate the meaning of key terms used in Section 504
    • Highlights the requirements of Section 504 in the area of public elementary and secondary education, including provisions related to the identification, evaluation, and placement of students with disabilities, and procedures for handling disputes and disagreements between parents and school districts.


    District 115 Students with Disabilities

    504 - Parents Rights  

    District 115 shall provide a free, appropriate public education and necessary related services to all children with disabilities within the district, as required under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), the Illinois School Code, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Americans with Disabilities Amendments Act of 2008, and all relevant implementing regulations. The term “children with disabilities” as used in this policy, means children between the ages of 3 and 21 (inclusive) who meet the eligibility requirements under either IDEA or Section 504. 

    It is the intent of the district to ensure that students who are disabled within the definition of Section 504 are identified, evaluated, and provided with appropriate educational services. Students may be disabled within the meaning of Section 504, even though they do not require services pursuant to IDEA. 

    For students eligible for services under IDEA, the district shall follow the policies and procedures for identification, evaluation, eligibility, placement, and delivery of services to children with disabilities provided in the Illinois State Board of Education’s regulations and the district’s special education procedures. 

    For those students who are not eligible for services under IDEA, but, because of a disability as defined by Section 504, need or are believed to need special instruction or related services, the district shall establish and implement a system of procedural safeguards. The safeguards shall cover students’ identification, evaluation, and educational placement. This system shall include notice, an opportunity for the student’s parent(s)/guardian(s) to examine relevant records, an impartial hearing with opportunity for participation by the student’s parent(s)/guardian(s) and representation by counsel, and a review procedure. 

    If necessary for a student to receive a free, appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment, students may also be placed in nonpublic special education programs or educational facilities.

    Legal Reference: 
    Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. § 12101 et seq.
    Americans with Disabilities Amendments Act of 2008, 42 U.S.C. § 12102 et seq.
    Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004, 20 U.S.C. § 1400 et seq. 
    Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 U.S.C. § 794. 
    105 ILCS 5/14-1.01 et seq., 5/14-7.02, and 5/14-7.02a. 
    23 Ill. Admin. Code §226.

    Questions and Answers on the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 for Students with Disabilities Attending Public Elementary and Secondary Schools (January 19, 2012) are available at:



    A parent, teacher or student may file a grievance (any complaint under the ADA/Section 504 by an individual with a disability) on the basis of the following:

    1. The student meets the essential eligibility requirements for participation in or receipt of the benefits of a program, activity, or service offered by the school district, and 

    2. believes he or she has been excluded from participation in or denied the benefits of any program, service, or activity of the school district or has been subject to discrimination by the school district on the basis of his or her disability or handicap

    If such a grievance is filed, the school district will endeavor to respond to and resolve grievances without the need to resort to the formal grievance procedure established by the district’s Uniform Grievance Procedure.  A person who wishes to avail himself or herself of the formal Uniform Grievance Procedure, however, may do so only by filing a written grievance within three hundred sixty-five (365) calendar days of the alleged discrimination. 504 - Grievance Form