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"?