New 504 eligibility regulations-anyone overwhelmed?

Specialties School


  • by Maine17
    Specializes in Community Health,Pediatric, School nursi.

Has anyone out there started to look at what the new 504 eligibility regs will mean as far as volume of paperwork?


86 Posts

Specializes in Coronary Care, School Nurse.

Our district is working hard to establish a consistent 504 policy. What new regs are you referring to? Where can I access them? I sure hope that we don't have to start from scratch.


31 Posts

Specializes in Community Health,Pediatric, School nursi.

The 504 eligibility requirements have become so broad that almost anyone who has a health problem will now be eligible for 504 protection. The emphasis will switch from eligibility to the need for accommodations. Each nurse will need to look at her list of students with health problems and determine which ones (without meds) have a condition that substantially limits a major life activity-walking, talking, breathing, learning, concentrating, listening. That list will most likely include all of your kids with ADHD, some asthmatics etc. These kids are all eliglble for 504 and need a plan. Your principal will need to know who has 504 protection because if there is a disciplinary issue with a 504 student, certain protoccol may need to be followed.


1,112 Posts

Frequently asked questions about 504:

As of January 1, 2009, with the exception of "ordinary eyeglasses and contact lenses," schools can no longer consider the effect of "mitigating measures" such as medication, in determining whether someone has a disability. Even impairments that occur infrequently can be considered disabilities if they substantially limits a major life activity when they do occur. Many more students qualify for Section 504 plans with the new regs.


1. Does the student have a physical or mental impairment?

2. Is a "major life activity" affected by the physical or mental impairment?

As of January 1, 2009 the definition of the term "major life activity" was expanded Major life activities include, but are not limited to, caring for oneself, performing manual

tasks, seeing, hearing, eating, sleeping, walking, standing, lifting, bending, speaking, breathing, learning, reading, concentrating, thinking, communicating, and working. Eating, sleeping, standing, lifting, bending, reading, concentrating, thinking, and communicating are all new additions to the list of major life activities.

3. Does the disability's impact on the “major life activity” amount to a "substantial limitation"?


1 Post

I was just talking to one of our guidance counselors about the new 504 regulations. He just came from a meeting at district office. He said that 504 accommodations require PCP documentation of cause of disability (i.e. diabetes) except when the child has ADHD. I'm having a difficult time understanding this. Does anyone know anything about this?


1,112 Posts

That is absolutely not true. You may consider a diagnosis in determining eligiblity, disagnosis is not required.

" Schools are sometimes reluctant to qualify a child under Section 504 because of ADD/ADHD unless they have a medical diagnosis which supports that eligibility. However, the 504 regulations include no requirement that the district must have a medical evaluation in order to determine a child eligible under 504. An OCR decision issued in 1992, on an IDEA (special education) student provides additional support for the notion that no medical diagnosis is required. Letter to Parker, 18 IDELR 965 (OCR 1992). Here, OCR indicates that for purposes of compliance with the IDEA (and in the absence of more specific state law requirements on eligibility) no medical evaluation by a licensed physician is needed to find that the child with ADD/ADHD qualifies as Other Health Impaired (OHI). 'If a public agency believes that a medical evaluation by a licensed physician is needed as part of the evaluation to determine whether a child suspected of having ADD meets the eligibility criteria of the OHI category, the school district must ensure that this evaluation is conducted at no cost to parents. However, if a school district believes that there are other effective methods of determining whether a child suspected of having ADD meets the eligibility requirements of the OHI category under Part B, then it would be permissible to use other qualified personnel to conduct the evaluation, so long as all of the protection in evaluation requirements of 34 CFR Sections 300.530-300.534 are met.'"


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