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What is Section 504?

  • What is Section 504?

    • A Civil Rights Law

    • Prohibits discrimination against persons with disabilities by agencies receiving federal dollars

    • Not an education law

    • Enforced by the Office of Civil Rights


  • What McAlester Public Schools programs have to comply with Section 504?

  • All Programs offered by the school district Pre-Kindergarten through 12th Grade

    • Community Education

    • Athletics

    • Before/after school programs (Discovery Club)

    • Field trips or other activities

    • Potential other agencies providing programming at McAlester Public Schools


  • Who is eligible for protections of Section 504?

  • A student with a physical or mental impairment that causes substantial limitation of a major life activity.

  • What is a physical or mental impairment?

  • Any psychological disorder or condition, cosmetic disfigurement, or anatomical loss affecting one or more of the following body systems: neurological; musculoskeletal; special sense organs; respiratory; speech organs; cardiovascular; reproductive; digestive; genitor-urinary, hemic and lymphatic; skin and endocrine; any mental or psychological disorder (such as mental retardation, organic brain syndrome, emotional or mental illness, and specific learning disabilities).


  • What is a substantial limitation?

  • Should not demand extensive analysis
  • Limits the ability of the student to perform major life activity as compared to most people


  • What are major life activities?

  • Caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, seeing, hearing, eating, sleeping, walking, standing, lifting, bending, speaking, breathing, learning, reading, concentrating, thinking, communicating, and working.  The operation of a major bodily function such as:

    • Immune system (Severe Allergy)

    • Normal cell growth (Leukemia, other cancer)

    • Digestive (Cystic Fibrosis, Crohn's Disorder)

    • Bowel (Irritable Bowel Syndrome, IBS)

    • Bladder (Neurogenic Bladder)

    • Neurological (ADHD, Epilepsy)

    • Brain (Static Encephalopathy, Concussion)

    • Respiratory (Asthma, Cystic Fibrosis)

    • Circulatory (Hemophilia)

    • Endocrine (Diabetes)

    • Reproductive functions (Ovarian Cyst)

  • Any one of these, not all, or in combination, qualifies.

  • Determination of substantial limitation must be made without regard to the ameliorative effects of mitigating measures.  

  • What are mitigating measures?

    • Medication, medical supplies, equipment, appliance, low-vision devices, prosthetics including limbs and devices, hearing aids and cochlear implants, mobility devices, oxygen therapy

    • Learned behavioral or adaptive neurological modification

    • Reasonable accommodations or auxiliary aids or services

  • Accommodations and auxiliary aids include:

    • Qualified interpreters or other effective methods available to students with hearing impairments

    • Qualified readers, taped text, or other methods used with students with visual impairments

    • Acquisition or modification of equipment or devices, other similar services and actions



  • Does the parent/guardian need to give permission for their student to be evaluated for a Section 504 Plan?

  • Yes. The evaluation is completed by a team of people knowledgeable about the student when the parent/guardian has given permission.


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McAlester Public Schools200 East AdamsMcAlester, OK  74502


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