Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
Some students with disabilities who do not require special education services may receive accommodations, special instruction, or related services under Section 504, consistent with the district’s policy against discrimination on the basis of disability.
What is a 504 Plan?
504 plans are covered by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. Under this civil rights law, students have the right to a free appropriate public education (FAPE). The purpose of a 504 plan is to give students access to the same education their peers are getting. (FAPE is also guaranteed under the special education law IDEA.)
What’s in a 504 plan?
504 plans often include accommodations. These can include:
- Changes to the environment (like taking tests in a quiet space)
- Changes to instruction (like checking in frequently on key concepts)
- Changes to how curriculum is presented (like getting outlines of lessons)
Accommodations don’t change what kids learn, just how they learn it. The goal is to remove barriers and give kids access to learning.
How does a student receive a 504 Plan?
Families or schools can request a 504 plan through the school’s 504 coordinator, Director of Student Services. (Ask the principal if you’re not sure who to contact.) The request must be in writing. The school will then hold a meeting to decide if the child qualifies and what supports are appropriate.