Guidance Department » Section 504 Plans

Section 504 Plans

What is Section 504?  

Section 504 covers qualified students with disabilities who attend schools receiving federal assistance. To be protected under Section 504, a student must be determined to: (1) have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities; or (2)have a record of such an impairment; or (3) be regarded as having such an impairment. Section 504 requires that school districts provide a free appropriate public education (FAPE) to qualified students in their jurisdiction who have a physical and mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities. 

Aids, Benefits, and Services - means aids, benefits and services to be equally effective, are not required to produce the identical result or level of achievement for handicapped/disabled and non-handicapped/non-disabled persons, but must afford handicapped/disabled persons equal opportunity to obtain the same result, gain the same benefit, or reach the same level of achievement, in the most integrated setting appropriate to the person’s needs.  (34 CFR sec.104.4(b)(2))

What is a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity? 

The Section 504 regulatory provision at 34 C.F.R. 104.3(j)(2)(i) defines a physical or mental impairment as any physiological disorder or condition, cosmetic disfigurement, or anatomical loss affecting one or more of the following body systems: neurological; musculoskeletal; special sense organs; respiratory, including speech organs; cardiovascular; reproductive; digestive; genito-urinary; hemic and lymphatic; skin; and endocrine; or any mental or psychological disorder, such as mental retardation, organic brain syndrome, emotional or mental illness, and specific learning disabilities. The regulatory provision does not set forth an exhaustive list of specific diseases and conditions that may constitute physical or mental impairments because of the difficulty of ensuring the comprehensiveness of such a list.

Major life activities, as defined in the Section 504 regulations at 34 C.F.R. 104.3(j)(2)(ii), include functions such as caring for one's self, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, and working. This list is not exhaustive. Other functions can be major life activities for purposes of Section 504.  In the Amendments Act, Congress provided additional examples of general activities that are major life activities, including eating, sleeping, standing, lifting, bending, reading, concentrating, thinking, and communicating.  Congress also provided a non-exhaustive list of examples of “major bodily functions” that are major life activities, such as the functions of the immune system, normal cell growth, digestive, bowel, bladder,neurological, brain, respiratory, circulatory, endocrine, and reproductive functions.  The Section 504 regulatory provision, though not as comprehensive as the Amendments Act, is still valid – the Section 504 regulatory provision’s list of examples of major life activities is not exclusive, and an activity or function not specifically listed in the Section 504 regulatory provision can nonetheless be a major life activity.

How is the determination for eligibility made?

An evaluation is conducted to gather information on how the disability is substantially impacting on a major life function. This can be accomplished in a variety of ways, but it must come from various sources including, but not limited to the school nurse, classroom teacher(s), school counselors, and outside persons with relevant information. Evaluation procedures may include review of records, assessment information, interviews with person’s knowledgeable about the child’s functioning, observations and/or individualized assessments.  

The Section 504 Team, a group of people knowledgeable about the student, collaboratively develops the 504 Plan, if appropriate. The purpose of the group is to examine the information regarding the person, and determine if reasonable accommodations are necessary, and subsequently what those accommodations will be if the person is considered eligible.   The term substantial is not defined within the law. Therefore, the 504 Team considers the impact of the impairment on the major life function specific to the individual. The 504 Team is directed to determine if the student is afforded an equal opportunity to participate and/or benefit from education when compared to non-disabled, age appropriate peers. A frame of reference for this responsibility is to use the average student in the general population for the purposes of comparison.  Periodic reevaluation is required by Section 504.  Reevaluation of the 504 Plan is recommended once per school year or upon significant change in school placement or program.

Who do I contact if I suspect my child is eligible for accommodations under Section 504?  

First, contact the student’s school counselor then complete the 504 Plan Request Packet:

Amelia Dennis
(609) 625-2249 ex: 1142
Guidance Counselor
Angelita Diaz
(609) 625-2249 ex: 1146
Guidance Counselor
Marianne Giercyk
(609) 625-2249 ex: 1145
Guidance Counselor
Taylor Mason
(609) 625-2249 ex: 3360
Guidance Counselor
Terrence Mooney
(609) 625-2249 ex: 3359
Guidance Counselor
Alyssa Keen
(609) 625-2249 ex: 1143
Guidance Counselor
Victoria Ragone
(609) 625-2249 ex: 1251
College & Career Counselor
Diana Staino
(609) 625-2249 ex: 3361
SEL Counselor
Brett Uhing
(609) 625-2249 ex: 1144
Guidance Counselor


Erin Higman
(609) 625-2249 ex: 1147
Supervisor of Guidance