Free and Appropriate Public Education (Section 504)
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Free and Appropriate Public Education (Section 504)
A Parent and Educator Guide
Revised July 2010

Puget Sound Educational Service District offers a guide for parents and educators to assist school districts in serving their students with disabilities in a way that assures a quality education that is in compliance with state and federal laws.

Revised in July 2010, the guide includes a parent and educator guide to FAPE under Section 504, highlights of the major differences between Section 504 and the IDEA, provides sample policies and procedures including forms, a detailed FAQ and sample accommodations.

Download guide
English: A Parent and Educator Guide to Free Appropriate Public Education (Under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973) (PDF, 67 pages)
Spanish: Una Guía para el Padre y el Educador para La Educación Pública Gratis y Adecuada (PDF, 17 pages)


The definition of related aids and services under Section 504 is broad and includes any service that a student needs to participate in and benefit from a district’s education program. (Page 7)

For a student whose only disability is a life threatening health condition, an individual health plan or an emergency or nursing care plan may serve as the student’s Section 504 plan. The process that a district follows to develop an individual health plan or an emergency or nursing care plan to meet the needs of a disabled student must be based on evaluation and placement procedures that satisfy the requirements of Section 504, and must provide procedural due process to the student’s parent or guardian. (Page 9)

Related aids and services include but are not limited to:

  • school health services
  • counseling services
  • environmental, instructional, and behavioral accommodations
  • transportation services
  • speech-language services
  • audiology services
  • physical and occupational therapy services
  • orientation and mobility services
  • provision of a modified schedule, grading system, or curriculum (Page 20)

A temporary impairment constitutes a disability under Section 504 if its severity is such that it substantially limits one or more major life activities for a student for an extended period of time. (Page 21)

Under Section 504, a district must evaluate a student if the district knows or suspects that the student, because of a disability, needs special education or related aids or services to participate in or benefit from its education program, regardless of whether the student has a medical diagnosis. A district may provide a student medical diagnostic services, as a related service, if the district believes that it needs a medical diagnosis to determine whether a student has a medical condition. (Page 22)

Section 504 Individual Health Plan (samples)


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   Updated 3/4/2015

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