Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
What is a 504 plan?
This type of plan falls under 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. That includes students with learning and attention issues who meet certain criteria.
Who develops a 504 plan?
A 504 plan is developed by a team of people who are familiar with the student and who understand the evaluation data and special services options. This group, sometimes called the 504 committee, might include:
- The general education teacher(s)
- Special education teacher
- The school principal
- The parent(s)
Who qualifies for a 504 plan?
504 plans are for K–12 public school students with disabilities. Section 504 defines “disability” in very broad terms. That’s why children who aren’t eligible for an IEP may qualify for a 504 plan. Section 504 defines a person with a disability as someone who:
- Has a physical or mental impairment that “substantially” limits one or more major life activity (such as reading or concentrating).
- Has a record of the impairment.
- Is regarded as having an impairment, or a significant difficulty that isn’t temporary. For example, a broken leg isn’t an impairment, but a chronic condition, like a food allergy, might be.
This definition covers a wide range of issues, including ADHD and learning disabilities. However, Section 504 doesn’t specifically list disabilities by name.
Having a disability doesn’t automatically make a student eligible for a 504 plan. First the school has to do an evaluation to decide if a child’s disability “substantially” limits his ability to learn and participate in the general education classroom.
I am the 504 Coordinator on our campus. Please call me at 281-641-2407 if you have further questions pertaining to the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.