What is Section 504?
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is a civil rights law to protect individuals with disabilities against discrimination. Schools may not discriminate against students who are otherwise qualified to participate in school activities but are inhibited by a disability from participating to the same extent as non-disabled peers. In order to be eligible for supports under Section 504, a student must have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity. This can include a student who has a “record of such impairment” or is “regarded as having an impairment.”
For students with disabilities who are eligible under Section 504, a 504 Plan is a document that identifies an individual’s impairment, the major life activity/activities that are substantially limited by the impairment, the need(s) that extend from the impairment, and the services, aids, accommodations, and modifications needed to address those needs.
Who can I contact about a 504 evaluation or my child’s existing 504 plan?
The Assistant Director of Student Services serves as the Section 504 coordinator at both North and West. The Section 504 coordinator oversees the 504 evaluation process, provides assistance to teachers and counselors regarding accommodations, and facilitates your child’s meeting. The Assistant Director of Student Services at North is Anthony Meier, who can be contacted at 847-626-2426 or [email protected], and at West is Dan Toy, who can be contacted at 847-626-2964 or [email protected].
Your child’s counselor is the case manager for the 504 plan. They participate in the evaluation and accommodation planning process and are responsible for communicating accommodations to teachers. Please refer to the Counselor page for their contact information.
To request an evaluation or if you have questions/concerns regarding the implementation of your child’s 504 plan, you may contact your child’s counselor or Anthony Meier (North)/Tim Naatz(West).
What happens to my child’s 504 Plan after high school?
Section 504 is a federal law that is not exclusive to K-12 education systems. If your child plans to continue their education, each college/university should have a department or person that is responsible for Section 504. Every college/university has a different process for establishing eligibility and providing accommodations. You may contact your prospective school for additional information regarding their process.
If your child is moving directly into a career, they may be eligible for accommodations within the workplace. This is an employer-based decision and your child’s disability must continue to substantially limit a major life activity.
How does my child apply for testing accommodations?
Testing accommodations will only be provided for students who have testing-related accommodations listed in their 504 Plan. Students who are not eligible under Section 504 are not entitled to testing accommodations.
Accommodations for school-based assessments are provided by your child’s teacher. There is no application process.
For PSAT/SAT/AP exams, the school will complete the application process through College Board. You must have a consent form on file in order to submit for accommodations. College Board makes all decisions regarding the approval of accommodations. If your child is not approved for accommodations, please contact College Board or Anthony Meier (North)/Tim Naatz(West) for additional information on the appeal process.
If your child plans to take the ACT with accommodations, please review the following document for the ACT-specific application process.