In determining whether a student qualifies under Section 504, the Section 504 team must conduct the following inquiry:


1.  Does the student have a physical or mental impairment?

2. Which substantially limits

3. One or more of such student's major life activities?


Although the Section 504 team only considers eligibility for a Section 504 plan in regards to the question of whether the student has a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more of such student's major life activities, it is important to note that students who have a record of such an impairment or are regarded as having such an impairment are still protected by Section 504 against discrimination. The 504 team however, does not have an obligation to develop an accommodation plan for those students (unless they also are eligible under the above criteria).


The determination for eligibility for Section 504 must be made on a case by case basis.

When the team considers whether a student meets the criteria for eligibility, it should bear in mind that the definition is to provide broad coverage for individuals.[1]


[1]  42 U.S.C. Section 1202(4) (A).  The 2008 Amendments of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) amended both the ADA’s and 504’s definition of “disability” by broadening it.  See also OCR, Dear Colleague Letter Americans with Disabilities Act (January 19, 2012), www.ed.gov/ocr.letters/colleague-201109.html; and www.ed.gov/ocr/docs/dcl-504-faq-201109.pdf.