Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 that guarantees civil rights to individuals with disabilities. Section 504 provides that individuals may not be subjected to discrimination on the basis of disability from any program receiving federal funding. A central tenet of Section 504 is free and appropriate public education for all children.
Section 504 is distinguished from IDEA in its insistence on the elimination of barriers that exclude individuals with disabilities; IDEA provides additional services for those with disabilities that are not offered to those without disabilities. All IDEA students are protected under Section 504, whereas IDEA does not cover all Section 504 students.
Examples and resources
See “The Law and Disabilites” by Margaret Weiss for a comparison of Section 504 and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.