Special Education and 504

Special Education

It shall be the goal of the Lafayette Parish School System to provide full educational opportunities to all disabled children ages 3-21 within its jurisdiction. It’s the policy of the Lafayette Parish School System to provide a free appropriate public education to each eligible exceptional child, ages 3-21 residing within its jurisdiction.


Section 504 is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities. Section 504 ensures that the child with a disability has equal access to an education. 504 is not Special Education. There are fewer procedural safeguards under Section 504 as compared to Special Education.

A child may have a disability; however, may not qualify for either 504 or Special Education because the condition does not significantly impact their educational process. For example, a child with a disability who is successful in school may not qualify for 504 services since no major life activity (eg., learning) is being impacted.