FAQs about 504 Plans

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This resource from Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia provides information on 504 plans, which ensure reasonable accommodations for children who qualify.

What is a 504 Plan?

A 504 Plan is also known as “Section 504 Plan” of the Americans with Disabilities Act. It is a formal agreement between the family and the school ensuring that proper accommodations are made for children with medical or psychiatric conditions, allowing the children to receive education.

What is the purpose of a 504 Plan?

A 504 Plan ensures that students with a disability are allowed to participate in academic, nonacademic and extracurricular activities. Students with disabilities are also guaranteed a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE).

What is the difference between a 504 Plan and an IEP?

An Individual Education Plan (IEP) falls under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and addresses instructional needs for learning differences. Students who already have an IEP may have accommodations for their diagnosis placed in the IEP section termed “other health impairment”.

How do we request a 504 Plan for our child?

Make your request either in writing or verbally to the school counselor, director of special education, school nurse or the head of the Child Study Team at your child’s school. If these staff are not available, the request can be made directly to the principal.

What are some of the benefits of a 504 Plan?

  • All teachers and school staff are notified of the 504 Plan.
  • Accommodations for standardized testing are easier to put in place.
  • The plan highlights what is fair and appropriate for the individual student.

What if a school says that a 504 Plan is not necessary for my child?

The 504 plan is a legal document. Public schools that receive any form of funding from the federal government must honor the family’s request for a 504 Plan.

My child attends a private school. Do private schools have to honor a 504 Plan?

Private schools that receive federal funding may not exclude an individual student with a disability or medical condition if the school can provide an appropriate education to that student. If a private school does not receive federal funding, they are not required to have a formal 504 Plan but may have their own version or a different health plan.

Where can I find more information?

View a sample Section 504 plan for a patient with diabetes developed by the American Diabetes Association (ADA) and the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund, Inc. (DREDF). Visit www.diabetes.org for more information about the Safe at Schools campaign and legislation.