504 Plans

WHAT IS A 504 PLAN?

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, is the part of the federal civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against public school students with disabilities. That includes students with learning and attention issues who meet certain criteria. 

WHO CAN QUALIFY FOR A 504 PLAN?

  • Unlike an IEP, Section 504 defines "disability" in broad terms.  
  • Has a physical or mental impairment that “substantially” limits one or more major life activity (such as reading or concentrating).
  • Has a record of the impairment. Typically the record consists of a medical diagnosis.
  • Is regarded as having an impairment that isn’t temporary. For example, a food allergy or diabetes may be considered a chronic condition.
Not everyone that has a medical condition or disability qualifies for a 504 plan.  First a team, including school staff with input from the parent, has to do an evaluation to decide if a child’s disability “substantially” limits his ability to learn and participate in the general education classroom.
When doing an evaluation for a 504 plan, the school considers information from several sources, including:
  • Documentation of the child’s disability (such as a doctor’s diagnosis)
  • Evaluation results (if the school recently evaluated the child for an IEP)
  • Observations by the student’s parents and teachers
  • Academic record
  • Independent evaluations (if available) 

HOW IS A 504 PLAN DEVELOPED?

A 504 plan is written by a team of people who are familiar with the student and who understand the evaluation data and special services options. This group might include:
  • Your child’s general education teacher(s)
  • A special education teacher
  • The school principal
  • You, the parent(s)
  • The child (depending on his age and maturity)

You can ask to be involved in all discussions and meetings about your child’s plan. We will always do our best to listen to your concerns. But it’s important to know that the law doesn’t require or guarantee parent participation in these meetings.

PDF Version

RTF Version

View text-based website