by Becky L. Spivey, M.Ed.
What is a 504?
The correct term is 504 Plan. If your student has a physical or mental health disability
that limits one or more major life functions, he/she may be eligible for educational
accommodations under a 504 Plan. A federal civil rights law supports the 504 Plan in
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.This is the part of the federal civil rights law
that prohibits discrimination against public school students with disabilities and includes
students with learning and attention issues who meet certain criteria.
Much like an IEP, but yet very different, a 504 Plan can help students with learning
and attention issues participate fully in the general education curriculum. A 504 Plan
outlines how specific measures including accommodations (adjustments to the learning
environment), modifications (changes in what a student is taught or expected to learn),
and other services can help meet a student’s specific
needs. These adjustments are in an effort to “remove
barriers” to learning.
Did you know that…
Students with disabilities are eligible for Section
504 services, including modifications, even if the
student performs very well academically?
All public schools and all public charter and
magnet schools that receive Federal financial
assistance must comply with Section 504?
Beyond the information provided by the team of special educators in your child’s school,
there is a now a treasure trove of information available and provided by US Department
of Education to serve as a resource guide for all parents and educators alike.
Do you have questions about getting or maintaining services for your child or student
with a disability?
In an effort to eliminate discrimination against students with disabilities, the Office for
Civil Rights (OCR) offers the following resource guide. This guide provides extensive
information (and answers to questions that OCR has received) to increase understanding
among parents and members of the school community of the Federal civil rights laws
that protect students with disabilities in public schools, and in particular, Section 504 of
the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504).
Download and print the following document:
Parent and Educator Resource Guide to Section 504 in Public Elementary and Secondary
by the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, December 2016.
Updates to this resource guide will be available at this website
This resource guide is in the public domain. The U.S. Department of Education, Office
for Civil Rights, grants authorization to reproduce this document completely, or in part;
This document explains how…
Educators can tailor an effective 504 Plan to meet their students’ needs.
Students’ informal accommodations will have the law behind them when
formalized in a 504 plan.
Parents need to be proactive about participating in their child’s 504 meetings.
In reading this document, parents in particular will:
- Learn extensively about their student’s educational and civil rights in school.
- Know the school’s obligations for students with disabilities.
- Understand the required procedures ensuring your student’s services and access to programs.