What is a 504 Plan in Special Education?

A 504 plan is an accommodation plan for students with disabilities who attend regular education classes.

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Introduction

A 504 plan is a written plan developed to ensure that a child who has a disability identified under the federal law known as Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 receives accommodations that will level the playing field between that child and his or her nondisabled peers. The intent of a 504 plan is to give a child an equal opportunity to participate in and benefit from an education.

A504 plan spells out what accommodations will be made for the child so that he or she can have an equal educational opportunity as his or her classmates. Examples of common accommodations that might be written into a 504 plan include, but are not limited to:

-Preferential seating in the classroom
-Extended time on tests and other assignments
-Use of a computer for writing assignments
-Allowing the child to take breaks as needed during the school day
-Modifications to the physical education curriculum

What is a 504 Plan?

A 504 Plan is a plan that helps children with disabilities receive the accommodations and services they need in order to be successful in school. This can include things like special education services, related services, and modifications to the way that instruction is delivered.

What are the Eligibility Requirements for a 504 Plan?

A 504 plan is a document that outlines the accommodations and modifications that will be made for a student with a disability so that they can have access to the same education as their peers. In order for a student to qualify for a 504 plan, they must meet certain eligibility requirements. These requirements are as follows:

-The student must have a physical or mental impairment that limits their ability to participate in or benefit from educational programs or activities.
-The student’s impairment must be considered a disability under the federal definition of disability.
-The accommodations and modifications made in the 504 plan must be necessary in order for the student to have an equal opportunity to participate in and benefit from education programs and activities.

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If a student meets all of these eligibility requirements, then they may qualify for a 504 plan. If you think your child may qualify, talk to their school about getting started with the process.

What Services and Accommodations are Provided in a 504 Plan?

The following services and accommodations may be provided in a 504 plan:

-Modifications to the way content is presented
-Use of specialized equipment or technology
-Changes to the physical environment of the classroom or school
-Changes to the way tasks are assigned or completed
-Adjustments to testing procedures
-Additional time for assignments or tests
-Adult support in the form of a teaching assistant, aide, tutor, or mentor

How is a 504 Plan Developed?

The process of developing a 504 plan begins with an evaluation to determine if your child qualifies as having a disability under the law. If it is determined that your child does have a qualifying disability, a team of people that know your child will meet to create the 504 plan. This team will develop the plan based on your child’s specific needs. The plan should be designed to give your child an equal opportunity to participate in school and benefit from their education, just like other students without disabilities.

Who Develops the 504 Plan?

A 504 plan is an individualized education plan (IEP) for students with disabilities who do not meet the criteria for an IEP. The 504 plan is developed by a team of professionals that includes the child’s parents or guardians, school personnel, and other individuals who are knowledgeable about the child’s needs.

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The Student’s Parents or Guardians

The student’s parents or guardians, along with the student’s teachers, develop the 504 plan. The plan is created to address the student’s specific needs and to ensure that the student has equal access to their education. The plan should be reviewed and updated as needed to make sure that it is still meeting the student’s needs.

The School’s 504 Plan Coordinator

The school’s 504 Plan Coordinator is responsible for ensuring that all students who need accommodations have a 504 Plan in place. The coordinator is also responsible for training staff on how to implement the accommodations outlined in each plan.

In order to develop a 504 Plan, the coordinator will work with the student’s parents, teachers, and other school personnel to identify the student’s needs and determine which accommodations will best help the student succeed in school. All members of the team must sign off on the final plan before it can be implemented.

The Student’s Teachers

The student’s teachers are heavily involved in the 504 planning process. They are typically the ones who notice when a student is having difficulty in school and may be in need of accommodations. Teachers can provide valuable input into what accommodations would be most beneficial for the student. They can also help to monitor the implementation of the plan and make sure that the accommodations are actually helping the student.

How is a 504 Plan Implemented?

The 504 plan is designed to help children with disabilities have equal access to education. It is named after Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities. A 504 plan spells out the accommodations and services that a child with a disability needs in order to have an equal opportunity to learn.

In the Classroom

The 504 plan team, which includes the student’s parents, teacher(s), and other school personnel, meets to discuss the student’s needs and identify necessary accommodations. Once the plan is developed, it is implemented in the student’s academic setting. Accommodations might include:

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-A reduction in the number of items on a test
-Extra time to complete assignments or tests
-The use of a calculator or other assistive devices
-Preferential seating in the classroom
-The use of note takers or audio-recorded lectures
-Modifications to the grading system

In Other School Activities

In addition to academic and behavioral interventions, a 504 plan may also include provisions for other school activities. For example, a student with diabetes may need to have access to water and snacks throughout the day, or a student with asthma may need to have an inhaler readily available.

Outside of School

While a 504 plan is designed to help a student inside of the school setting, there are ways that the plan can be implemented outside of school. Here are some ideas:

– 504 plan information can be shared with babysitters, grandparents, and other adult caregivers.
– Children with a 504 plan can wear a medical alert bracelet or necklace that lists their allergies and emergency contact information.
– A child with a 504 plan may have an Individualized Health Care Plan (IHCP) that outlines their specific health needs. This document can be shared with coaches, camp counselors, and other adults who work with the child outside of school.

Conclusion

A 504 plan is an individualized education program designed to help students with disabilities succeed in school. The plan is specifically tailored to the needs of each student and may include accommodations such as extended time on tests, modified class schedules, or special education services. Students who qualify for a 504 plan are often those with learning disabilities, physical disabilities, or other health impairments.

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