Nondiscrimination (Section 504)

Information on Section 504 in DCSD

Providing access to the LIFE of the school.

Please note this webpage contains information on Section 504 as it relates to students in DCSD. For information on Section 504 as it relates to staff, patrons, and other community members, please visit this page.*

What is Section 504?

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is a civil rights law prohibiting discrimination based on disability in public and private programs receiving federal financial assistance. As a public school district that receives federal funds, Section 504 applies within Douglas County School District (DCSD). It ensures that all students are afforded the same opportunities to access both academic and non-academic components of the school environment regardless of their disability. In other words Section 504 is meant to ensure that all students, regardless of disability, have equitable access to the life of the school!

Child Find Notice

It is the responsibility of DCSD to identify any child who is a resident of DCSD who may have a disability, regardless of the severity of the disability. Children eligible under Section 504 include those children who have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity and/or major bodily function.

If you suspect your child has a disability please contact your child’s teacher, the school 504 coordinator at the child's school, or contact the District’s 504 Coordinator, for additional information and support with next steps.

When does a student qualify as having a disability under Section 504?

This legislation defines a person with a disability as anyone who: 

  • Has a physical or mental impairment;

  • which substantially limits one or more major life activities or major bodily functions.

    • Major life activities include, but are not limited to: bending, breathing, caring for one’s self, communicating, eating, executive functions, hearing, learning, concentrating, reading, performing manual tasks, speaking, sleeping, seeing, standing, thinking, walking, and working.

    • Major bodily functions include but not limited to: functions of the immune system, normal cell growth, digestive, bowel, bladder, neurological, brain, respiratory, circulatory, endocrine, and reproductive functions, performing manual tasks, speaking, sleeping, seeing, standing, thinking, walking, and working.

Signs that may show a need for an evaluation might include:

  • Chronic absenteeism

  • Several or increasing disciplinary referrals

  • Poor or declining grades in classes and assessments

  • Showing signs of depression, organizational issues, withdrawal, worrying, inattention, difficulty with emotional regulation

  • Frequent or increasing behavioral difficulties

  • Diagnosis of dyslexia/dysgraphia or other learning disability from an outside provider

  • Displaying characteristics of dyslexia or other learning disability according to a body of evidence/RtI process

  • Chronic illnesses (e.g. cancer and long term effects of treatment, diabetes, life threatening allergies, arthritis, Crohn’s, etc.) 

  • Students transitioning out of special education programs

What is a Section 504 Plan?

  • A written description of the specific adjustments, accommodations, modifications*related aids, and related services** to be provided in the general education environment for a Section 504 protected student. 

*Modification here means modifications to the school’s policies, practices, or procedures. Modification of curriculum and what the child needs to learn falls under a special education plan which includes specialized instruction (IEP).

**Related services here may mean support from general education staff (e.g. school counselor, teacher, school nurse consultant, transportation, or other staff) in learning and assessing skills or other resources to support needs related to the disability.  

Related services may include:

  • School health room support

  • School counseling support

  • Transportation

  • Audiological support

  • Speech-language support

  • Physical and occupational therapy supports

  • Psychological/behavioral supports

  • Assistive technology device and/or services

  • Adaptive PE supports

  • Orientation and mobility supports

  • Special dietary supports


When does a student qualify for a Section 504 Plan?

  • This is a 504 Team decision based on information gathered by the team about the student. 

  • If the student with a disability requires adjustments, accommodations, modifications or other related aids and services in order to benefit from and/or access any aspect of the school’s educational environment, then program a student is eligible for a 504 Plan.

If the student does not require adjustments, accommodations, modifications, or related aids and services, they are considered “technically eligible” and a 504 Plan is not needed at this time. However, periodic review of needs should occur and the student and family are protected by procedural safeguards.


Additional information can be obtained from:
The U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights
Region VIII, Federal Building, Suite 310
1244 Speer Blvd.
Denver, CO 80204-3582
(303) 844-5695

Frequently Asked Questions

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In compliance with Titles VI & VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008, and Colorado law, the Douglas County School District RE-1 does not unlawfully discriminate against otherwise qualified students, employees, applicants for employment, or members of the public on the basis of disability, race, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, religion, ancestry, or need for special education services. Discrimination against employees and applicants for employment based on age, genetic information, and conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth is also prohibited in accordance with state and/or federal law. Complaint procedures have been established for students, parents, employees, and members of the public. The School District's Compliance Officer and Title IX Coordinator to address complaints alleging sexual harassment under Title IX is Aaron Henderson, 620 Wilcox Street, Castle Rock, Colorado, [email protected], 303-387-0127.

Outside Agencies

Complaints regarding violations of Title VI, (race, national origin), Title IX (sex, gender), Section 504/ADA (handicap or disability), may be filed directly with the Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education, 1244 North Speer Blvd., Suite 310, Denver, CO 80204. Complaints regarding violations of Title VII (employment) and the ADEA (prohibiting age discrimination in employment) may be filed directly with the Federal Office of Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 303 E. 17th Ave., Suite 510, Denver, CO 80202, or the Colorado Civil Rights Commission, 1560 Broadway, Suite 1050, Denver, CO 80202.


Special Education records which have been collected by Douglas County School District related to the identification, evaluation, educational placement, or the provision of special education in the district, must be maintained under state and federal laws for the period of five (5) years after special education services have ended for the student. Special education services end when the student is no longer eligible for services, graduates, or completes his/her educational program at age 21, or moves from the district. This notification is to inform parents/guardians and former students of Douglas County School District's intent to destroy the special education records of students who exited special education services as of June 30, 2016. These records will be destroyed in accordance with state law unless the parent/guardian or eligible (adult) student notifies the school district otherwise. After five years, the records are no longer useful to the district, but may be useful to the parent/guardian or former student in applying for social security benefits, rehabilitation services, college entrance, etc. The parent/guardian or eligible (adult) student may request a copy of the records by requesting the records at this link ( Douglas County School District Transcripts and Records Requests ).