Health & Wellness Forms and Resources

Section 504

  • Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (commonly referred to as “504”) prohibits discrimination
    against students on the basis of their disability.

    The purpose of this fact sheet is to inform District employees and the community about Section 504. This
    reflects the District’s commitment to address the educational needs of ALL children.

    The District expects employees to be knowledgeable about the District procedures concerning Section 504, with a particular emphasis on parent and student rights. Our 504 Staff Manual can be found here. If you have Section 504 questions concerning either current students or prospective students, please contact:

    Laura Mahler
    Executive Director of Specialized Instruction and Student Services
    Birmingham Public Schools
    31301 Evergreen
    Beverly Hills, MI 48025

    Section 504 questions concerning employees and applicants for employment should be directed to:

    Dean Niforos
    Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources
    Birmingham Public Schools
    31301 Evergreen
    Beverly Hills, MI 48025


    Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is a federal law which prohibits discrimination against persons with disabilities. The principal purpose of Section 504 is to assure that students with disabilities are not denied access to educational facilities, programs or opportunities on the basis of their disability.

    For a student to qualify for Section 504 protection, the student must: (1) have a mental or physical impairment, (2) which substantially limits, (3) one or more major life activities. A student also qualifies for protection under Section 504 if he/she has a record of such an impairment or is regarded as having such an impairment.

    Section 504 requires that Birmingham Public Schools offer a Free Appropriate Public Education (“FAPE”) to each eligible student who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity. The FAPE obligation extends to all students described in this paragraph, regardless of the nature or severity of their disability. The School District has developed the following Notice of Procedural Safeguards to help familiarize students and parents with their rights under Section 504.

    If you have any questions about Section 504, please contact:

    Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources
    Birmingham Public Schools
    31301 Evergreen Road
    Beverly Hills, Michigan 48025-3800


    Section 504 guarantees certain rights to parents of students with disabilities. The intent of these procedural protections is to keep the parent/guardian fully informed about educational decisions concerning their child, and to inform the parent/guardian of their rights if they disagree with any of these decisions. At age 18, these rights transfer to the student. A Notice of Procedural Safeguards – Section 504 (Form C) has been developed for distribution to parents.


    The following is a summary description of the rights provided by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 to students with disabilities, or suspected disabilities, as well as certain rights you have under other laws. These include the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). The intent of the law is to keep you fully informed about decisions concerning your child, to have you be an active participant in the educational planning for your child, and to inform you of your rights in the event you disagree with any decisions concerning your child.

    You have the right to:
    1. Have the Birmingham Public Schools advise you of your rights under federal law.
    2. Receive notice with respect to: a) Section 504 identification, evaluation, and/or eligibility determinations of your child; b) your procedural safeguards; c) your opportunity to examine relevant records with regard to your child; and d) your right to an impartial due process hearing, including the right to participate and be represented by legal counsel, but at your own expense, as well as to request a review of the decision of an impartial hearing officer.
    3. Have evaluation, educational, and placement decisions made based upon a variety of information sources, and by a team of persons who are knowledgeable about the student, the evaluation data, and placement options.
    4. Examine all education records related to your child, including those concerning the decisions regarding your child’s Section 504 identification, evaluation, educational program, and placement.
    5. Obtain copies of educational records at a reasonable cost, unless the fee would effectively deny you access to the records.
    6. Receive a response from the Birmingham Public Schools to reasonable requests for explanations and interpretations of your child’s records.
    7. Request an amendment of your child’s educational records if there is reasonable cause to believe that they are inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the privacy rights of your child. If the Birmingham Public Schools refuses this request for amendment, the School District shall notify you within a reasonable time and advise you of your right to an impartial hearing.
    8. Have your child receive a free appropriate public education, including related services, if he/she is found to be a qualified student with a disability. The services will be without cost to you or your child, except for those fees that are imposed on non-disabled students or their parents or guardians.
    9. In the event that a Section 504 Services Plan or IEP includes the use of an assistive technology device, the Plan or IEP will also include a requirement that teachers and paraprofessionals receive the necessary training to ensure that the technology can be utilized properly. The Plan or IEP will also specifically address what will occur when an assistive technology device is out of service for repair or is otherwise not functioning.
    10. Have your child take part in, and receive benefits from, the School District’s education programs without discrimination because of his/her disabling condition(s).
    11. Have your child be educated with non-disabled students to the maximum extent appropriate. This includes the right to have the Birmingham Public Schools make reasonable accommodations to allow your child an equal opportunity to participate in school and school-related activities.
    In the event that a special education teacher, to whom your child is assigned, will be absent for a period known to be five (5) consecutive school days, or longer, and it is necessary to utilize the services of a substitute:
    a. Birmingham Public Schools will use reasonable means to determine the availability of a teacher with special education certification to fill the position. In the event that a substitute teacher with special education certification cannot be found to fill the position, a teacher without special education certification may be assigned.
    b. The Birmingham Public Schools’ special education administrator with primary responsibility for the classroom will meet with the substitute teacher and arrange training to ensure that your child’s needs are met to the same extent as are the needs of nondisabled students in the classroom.
    12. Have your child educated in facilities and receive services comparable to those provided non-disabled students.
    13. Have transportation provided to and from an alternative placement setting at no greater cost to you than would be incurred if the student were placed in a program operated by the Birmingham Public Schools.
    14. Have your child be given an equal opportunity to participate in nonacademic and extracurricular activities offered by the Birmingham Public Schools. Advance notification of field trips will be provided through the same means of communication and at the same time as such notification is given to parents/guardians of students who are not disabled. This will include notification of the time, place and cost of the field trip. For a regularly scheduled field trip, notice will be provided no later than five (5) days before the trip. Where a field trip was not regularly scheduled, notice will be provided as soon as possible once the details are known.
    15. Request an impartial due process hearing regarding the Section 504 identification, evaluation, eligibility, placement or provision of a Free Appropriate Public Education (“FAPE”) for your child.
    16. File a complaint in accordance with the Birmingham Public Schools’ Section 504 grievance procedure.