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What Is a 504 Plan for Students?



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504 plans aren't part of special education like IEDs are these plans are

designed for students with disabilities who need supports in order to learn

alongside their peers they're covered by the Rehabilitation Act which is a civil

rights law that protects people with disabilities from discrimination the

purpose of 504 plans is to remove barriers to learn just like a ramp into

the school building removes a barrier for students and wheelchairs the plans

make changes to the environment not to the instruction students often get a 504

plan after being denied eligibility for special education parents can also

request a 504 plan for their child 504 s have a much broader definition of

disability than IEP s so a student might have an evaluation because of trouble

completing tests and writing assignments the results might reveal a slow

processing speed but no other issues still there's an issue getting in the

way of the students performance at school in this case the student doesn't

need special instruction but does need support so the school might recommend

extended time or note-taking services another student might get referred

seating or an extra set of text through a 504 plan there's no standardized

template or form for 504 plans but the plan should include specific

accommodations supports and services it also should have the name of the people

providing the services plus the name of the person who's responsible for making

sure the plan is followed 504 s have far fewer requirements than I ApS and the

rules about who's on the 504 team at school are much less specific than with

IEP teams the team might include a child's regular education teacher a

special education teacher or a school social worker who's familiar with the

child parents are also typically on the team although the school isn't required

to involve them another role for parents is monitoring the 504 plan to make sure

all the supports are being followed and their child is getting the needed help

504 plans offer less of a safety net but that can encourage kids to become

self-advocates the more they can speak up for themselves as they make their way

through school college work and in the adult world the more help they can get

for themselves when they need it