Many parents ask themselves “what is a 504 plan and how could it help my child?” ‘504’ refers to a section of a federal civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities. With a 504 plan, students with disabilities can access educational accommodations, aids, and services. Section 504 requires that public schools provide a “free appropriate public education” (called “FAPE”) to every student with a disability — regardless of the nature or severity of the disability. [via OSPI]
Section 504 defines disability as a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities.
Major life activities are activities that are important to most people’s daily lives. Some examples include:
“Substantially limits” should be interpreted broadly. A student’s impairment does not need to prevent, or severely or significantly restrict, a major life activity to be substantially limiting. [via Students Rights: Section 504 PDF]
You can ask for your child to be evaluated for a 504. You will need to make your referral in writing to your school and ask that they evaluate whether or not your child has a disability and needs accommodations, aids, and services.
There are two requirements for a 504:
There are two requirements for an IEP:
There are three important ideas to know about a medical diagnosis:
Accommodation ideas to consider with your 504 team*:
The following suggested accommodations/services can be used for students experiencing academic and/or behavioral difficulties. Remember, every student is different and accommodations need to be decided by the Section 504 Team, which includes the parents.
Return to the Special Education, IEP And The 504 Plan page.