It has been four decades since there has been a major update to the regulations for Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Last year, the U.S. Department of Education announced that it looking at the rules and a proposed rule revision was originally scheduled to be published in August of this year. However, that never materialized and instead a November publication was expected, but never happened.
When it occurs, the Section 504 update will impact requirements in K-12 and higher education for how schools accommodate students with disabilities. Accommodations that can help remove barriers to learning for students with disabilities could include extended time for test taking, the use of a service animal, and a differentiated school day schedule. Section 504 also requires schools to be physically accessible.
In addition, since some K-12 students qualify for both IDEA services and Section 504 accommodations both Section 504 and IDEA aim to protect the civil rights of students with disabilities, it is anticipated by some that clarity will be provided in this regard, with IDEA addressing learning supports and Section 504 protecting students from discriminatory practices. On the other hand, disability rights advocates see more alignment in certain areas of Section 504 as necessary to ensure students’ needs are being met.
Source: K-12 Dive