All public school districts are required to provide a free and appropriate public education (FAPE) to qualified handicapped persons, regardless of the nature or severity of the disabiilty. Section 504 is Civil Rights Staute that ensures that schools follow this requirement and provide classroom accomodations and/or modifications to meet handicapped students' needs.
To be eligible for Section 504 services, a student must be determined to have a "physical or mental impairment," such as a physiological disorders, mental or psychological disorder, or visual or hearing impairment, that "substantially limits one or more major life activities."
To evalute a student, a 504 team compares his or her academic progress to the progress of an "average child." The team, which includes parents, evaluates the impact of a student's disability on his or her education and determines if accommodations, if any, are necessary.