What is meant by the phrase "substantial limitation"?
Generally, it means that the disability materially and significantly impacts the student's overall educational performance and experience in an adverse manner. In other words, it means the student is experiencing serious difficulty meeting minimum academic requirements, behavioral expectations, or a combination of both. It does not mean that the student is not working up to his/her potential or earning the best grades he/she can earn.
Can a student be disabled but not qualify under Section 504?
Yes, since some disabled students may not be substantially limited in learning or another major life activity by their disability. If a student with disabilities is able to function adequately in the school setting, they may not be substantially limited, and thus, not eligible under Section 504.
Above information by
Jose L. Martín, Attorney at Law
Richards Lindsay & Martín, L.L.P.