Student & Family eBook - Page 42



PROGRAM
How is “disability” defined under Section 504?
Section 504 defines disability as a physical or mental impairment that
substantially limits a major life activity. A physical impairment is a
medical condition or disorder of bodily functions. A mental impairment is a cognitive, learning or psychological disorder.
A major life activity incudes seeing, hearing, speaking, walking, bending, learning, reading, concentrating, thinking, working, caring for
oneself, performing manual tasks, and other similar types of activities.
Major life activities also include bodily functions such a breathing,
sleeping, neurological functioning, bowel/bladder functioning, and
other bodily functions. A substantial limitation means that the student is significantly restricted as to the condition, manner or duration
under which a student can perform a particular major life activity as
compared to the average student population.
What does Section 504 do for students with disabilities?
Students with disabilities are protected from discrimination on the
basis of disability if they have a mental or physical impairment that
substantially limits a basic life activity, or have a history of such impairment or are treated as if they have such impairment.
Under Section 504, students with a mental or physical impairment
that substantially limits a basic life activity are entitled to a free appropriate public education, including regular education and other
accommodations or supports that are designed to meet the individual
educational needs of a student with a disability as adequately as the
needs of nondisabled students.
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