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Students with Disabilities

Section 504: Protecting Students with Disabilities

As a chartered public school academy, the VLA must comply with Section 504, a federal law designed to protect the rights of individuals with disabilities in programs and activities that receive Federal financial assistance from the U.S. Department of Education.

Who is a student with a disability?

A student has a disability under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504) and is entitled to a free, appropriate education, if they have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities. Some major life activities include, but are not limited to:

  • Walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, or breathing    
  • Learning or concentrating
  • Major bodily functions
  • Caring for one's self (such as most bodily systems)
  • Performing manual tasks  
  • Working    

Section 504 also protects two other types of students from disability-related discrimination and harassment, even though they are not entitled to a free, appropriate public education. These are students who have a record of having a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities or are regarded as having such impairment.

Free Appropriate Public Education

Under Section 504, students with disabilities are entitled to a free, appropriate public education, regardless of the nature or diversity of their disability. Appropriate education is the provision of regular or special education and related aids and services that are designed to meet the individual educational needs of a student with a disability as adequately as the needs of the students without disabilities are met.

How to Request a Section 504 Evaluation and/or Section 504 Policies and Procedures

If you believe your child may have a disability, you can request that the District evaluate your child. Evaluation request forms can be obtained by contacting VLA Principal Josh Everitt at 810-364-1362 or emailing


504 Procedural Safeguards