A 504 plan is a formal plan for how a school will provide supports and remove barriers for a student with a documented physical and/or mental impairment that is limited by one or more major life activity. These plans prevent discrimination and protect the rights of students with disabilities in school. 504 plans are covered under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which is a civil rights law. Under this law, students have the right to a free, appropriate public education (FAPE).
The central purpose of 504 Plans is to give eligible students access to the same education their peers are getting. 504 plans are designed to assist students with physical or mental impairments to learn alongside their peers by removing barriers to learning.
504 plans include accommodations. Parents will work with the school team to determine specific, reasonable accommodations or requirements that will make it possible for a student to succeed in the general education program.
Parents or school staff can request a 504 meeting by contacting the 504 Chairperson in the student’s home school. If the parent is unsure who the 504 Chairperson is, the principal of the school can be contacted. The parent must put the request for a meeting in writing. The school will then schedule a meeting and determine if the student is eligible and to determine if a 504 plan is needed.
Parents have rights under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Parents have the right to review their child’s record and if a parent has a dispute about the 504 process, they have the right to file a complaint.