Civil Rights 504 Accomodations

FAQs for Civil Rights 504 Accommodations - click here

Office of Civil Rights (OCR)

OCR enforces Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504) and  Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990,

Contacts for Regional Offices-Most of OCR's activities are conducted by its 12 enforcement offices throughout the country. Enforcement offices are organized into 4 divisions whose tasks include preventing, identifying, ending, and remedying discrimination against America's students.

Discrimination on the Basis of Disability - OCR is responsible for enforcing Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504); Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 508); and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 as they apply to entities under the jurisdiction of OCR.

Pregnant Parents Resource Memo from Office of Civil Rights -Provides strategies that educators may use and programs schools can develop to address the educational needs of students who become pregnant or have children. (6/2013)

Supporting the Academic Success of Pregnant and Parenting Students Under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972-Provides information on requirements for services and programs which support attendance, retention and graduation rates supporting students.


American with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990-Prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in state and local government services, programs, and activities (including public schools), regardless of whether they receive Federal financial assistance. Pursuant to a delegation by the Attorney General of the United States, OCR shares in the enforcement of Title II for all programs, services, and regulatory activities relating to the operation of public elementary and secondary educational programs, institutions of higher education and vocational education (other than schools of medicine, dentistry, nursing, and other health-related schools), and libraries.


Section 504 the Rehabilitation Act of 1973-Section 504 is a federal law designed to protect the rights of individuals with disabilities in programs and activities that receive Federal financial assistance from the U.S. Department of Education (ED). Recipients of Federal financial assistance include public school districts, other state and local educational agencies, and institutions of higher education. Section 504 provides: "No otherwise qualified individual with a disability in the United States . . . shall, solely by reason of her or his disability, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.  The regulations implementing Section 504 in the context of educational institutions appear at 34 C.F.R. Part 104

Section 504 regulations require a school district to provide a "free appropriate public education" (FAPE) to each qualified student with a disability who is in the school district's jurisdiction, regardless of the nature or severity of the disability. Under Section 504, FAPE consists of the provision of regular or special education and related aids and services designed to meet the student's individual educational needs as adequately as the needs of nondisabled students are met.

"Dear Colleague" Letter (January 19, 2012) to elementary and secondary education officials with attached Frequently Asked Questions document (FAQ), Discusses the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (Section 504) in the context of students with disabilities attending public elementary and secondary schools.  The FAQ addresses the broadened definition of disability and the changes made by the Amendments Act; explores how the Amendments Act affects Section 504; discusses various obligations of school districts, including the requirement to evaluate students to determine eligibility for regular or special education and related aids and services; and addresses how OCR evaluates compliance."Dear Colleague" letter PDF

"Dear Colleague" letter  (January 25, 2013) Addressing equal access to extracurricular athletics for students with disabilities.  It provides an overview of the obligations of public elementary and secondary schools under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (Section 504), and the Department’s Section 504 regulations; cautions against making decisions based on presumptions and stereotypes; details the specific Section 504 regulations that require students with disabilities to have an equal opportunity for participation in nonacademic and extracurricular services and activities; and discusses the provision of separate or different athletic opportunities.

  • "Dear Colleague" letter  PDF (546K)
  • 'Fast Facts' about Dear Colleague Letter Fact Sheet, En español   Gives actual examples

NY State and  NY City 504 Resources

NYC Department of Education page with 504  information-The Office of School Health manages the processes surrounding students needing medication administration, medically-prescribed treatment, glucose monitoring, insulin pump maintenance, and other Section 504 and Individualized Education Program (IEP) services. This site contains health forms which are used in the New York City public schools to provide care, services, and accommodations they need during the school day. (7/17/19)

Summary of NYC 504 Services-This FAQ provides information about Section 504, including process steps, eligibility criteria, required documentation, and developing accommodations. Parents can learn more about Section 504 by viewing the online resources in this document or by speaking with their child’s school-based 504 Coordinator. (Updated 2021)

Advocates for Children of NY Guide to Section 504: This guide explains what Section 504 is, how it applies to children in public schools, and how to get Section 504 services or accommodation.


Updated 7-17-19