BIE Students and Section 504
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, 29 U.S.C. § 794 is a civil rights law that prohibits the U.S. Department of Interior (the Department) from discriminating against members of the public on the basis of disability in its conducted programs and activities. Section 504 is applicable to educational programs and activities conducted by the Department, including Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) - operated elementary and secondary schools and dormitories.
Section 504 establishes a student’s right to full access and participation to education and all school-related activities and require schools provide appropriate services to meet the individual needs of qualified students.
Pursuant to Section 504, the BIE-operated schools are responsible for locating and providing accommodations and services to eligible students with disabilities. BIE has developed a National Policy Memorandum to provide guidance to its employees and information to students, parents, and other providers of educational services on its Section 504 responsibilities.
- Indian Affairs Manual (IAM), Part 30, Chapter 15, Education (Management), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
Who is eligible for Section 504 protection?
Any student who has a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits a major life activity (such as learning ,caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, speaking, hearing and working); or has a record of such impairment; or is regarded as having such an impairment.
How is the 504 process initiated?
If anyone suspects a student may be an individual with a disability, a referral or request for an evaluation is made to the school 504 coordinator to determine if there is a significant impact on the child’s learning and/or behavior.
A 504 team will be assembled which could include parents, teachers, social workers, Section 504 coordinator, school psychologist, school administrator or others with knowledge of the child, the evaluations and the school resources. This team determines student needs based on data and information from various sources.
If the 504 team determines the student is eligible for accommodations under Section 504, a Section 504 Plan is written to address the individual needs of the student.
What is a 504 plan?
A 504 Plan is a written plan created for students with disabilities who require accommodations to be successful in the classroom. A 504 Plan is not an Individualized Education Program (IEP) which requires more specialized instruction under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
Section 504 Points of Contact
Questions regarding BIE Section 504 policy or requirements in general, should be directed to the Bureau Section 504 Coordinator, Don Griffin, by email, or contact the School's Section 504 Coordinator.
- Section 504 Annual Notice
- Section 504 Rights and Procedures Safeguard
- Section 504 Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, 29 U.S.C. § 794 (Section 504) and U.S.
- Section 504 Complaint Procedure Letter
- U.S. DOI Office of Diversity, Inclusion and Civil Rights
- The Civil Rights Directive 2011-01
- Section 504 Frequently Asked Questions