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Section 504 and Dyslexia Identification

Section 504

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.


Students enrolled in Texas public schools shall be assessed for dyslexia and related disorders at appropriate times (TEC §38.003 (a)). The appropriate time depends on multiple factors including the student's reading performance; reading difficulties; poor response to supplemental, scientifically based reading instruction; teacher's input; and input from the parents/guardians. Schools shall recommend assessment for dyslexia if the student demonstrates the following:
  • Poor performance in one or more areas of reading and spelling that is unexpected for the student's age/grade
  • Characteristics and risk factors of dyslexia
Trained dyslexia evaluators administer a battery of assessments. Data from these assessments is
analyzed to determine whether the student demonstrates characteristics of dyslexia.

Upon analysis of the student's data, instructional recommendations for reading will be provided. The campus Section 504 committee will meet to review the recommendations and to determine the appropriate student services.