Section 504 is a rehabilitation act that requires a school district to provide accommodations for students to access the school environment or provide program modifications or services. The 504 team must determine whether the student has a mental or physical impairment that substantially limits his or her ability to perform a significant life activity that the average student of approximately the same age can perform or be significantly restricted as to the condition, manner, or duration under which a particular life activity is performed. The impairment must be substantial and somewhat unique, rather than commonplace, compared to the average student.
A 504 referral may be initiated by a teacher, parent, administrator or another person inside or outside Montgomery County Schools. The referral form must be submitted to the school principal or designee (counselor), who assists with its completion. Afterward, the 504 team chair schedules a meeting and invites the parents to discuss the need for an evaluation and/or determines a student's eligibility.