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Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504) is a civil rights statute that prohibits organizations and employers from discriminating against individuals with disabilities. The statute defines a disability broadly as a “physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.” Section 504 protects the rights of individuals with disabilities to participate in, and have equal access to, program benefits and services offered by organizations and employers.

In schools, Section 504 ensures that students with a disability receive equal access to education through the implementation of “accommodations.” An accommodation should allow the student to manage his or her disability with minimal to no disruption to learning. For example, a student with a cochlear implant may receive an FM system as an accommodation.