Parents often have questions when their child is diagnosed with a disability and an 504 accommodation plan is written.

College students or students in technical schools often have questions about how to develop a plan that works to address their needs in college or technical school.

Below are some questions and answers to provide some basic information.

What is a 504 Plan?

The 504 Plan is the document that is developed to address the needs of students identified as having a disability under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and also under the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) Amendments. A plan first identifies the nature of the disability and its impact on one or more major life activities and then identifies supports that are appropriate educational services designed to meet the individual needs of such students to the same extent as the needs of students without disabilities are met. Section 504 and the ADA protect students with disabilities from discrimination and are designed to provide a free appropriate public education (FAPE).

Section 504 covers qualified students with disabilities who attend schools receiving Federal financial assistance. To be protected under Section 504, a student must be determined to: (1) have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities; or (2) have a record of such an impairment; or (3) be regarded as having such an impairment. Section 504 requires that school districts provide a free appropriate public education (FAPE) to qualified students in their jurisdictions who have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.

Why is a 504 Plan necessary?

Similar to an IEP under Section 504 and the ADA, the 504 Accommodation Plan provides for services and/or strategies that are designed to meet the individual educational needs of students with disabilities as adequately as the needs of students without disabilities are met.

At the postsecondary level, the recipient is required to provide students with appropriate academic adjustments and auxiliary aids and services ( U.S.DOE) that are necessary to provide a student with a disability an equal opportunity to participate in a school’s program. Colleges/technical schools are not required to make adjustments or provide aids or services that would result in a fundamental changes of a school’s program.

Do I need to be involved in the 504 process?

Both as a parent of student in grades Pre K – 12 and as a student in college or technical school, it is extremely important for you to understand each component of the 504 process and any related rights associated with these components to have meaningful input in planning your or your child’s educational program supports.

How long does an 504 Plan last?

The 504 Plan is written for a year’s implementation or longer can be reviewed at least annually or more often as required.

Do you have additional questions or need support?
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For Responsive Instruction’s 504 and Accommodation Plan list of services, click here.

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