A Parent's Guide to Section 504
Section 504 is a civil rights law that was created to protect individuals with disabilities from discrimination or exclusion from participation in programs or activities that are federally funded.
Congress implemented this law to protect against disability discrimination beyond the classroom. Educational services that are protected in this law are extracurricular activities, non-academic services, facilities, academic awards, and provision of services to parents.
Section 504 allows you to create a plan for your student that will give him/her full access to the school campus and any school sponsored events.
School Services Department - Children's Health
What are some accommodations that may be written in my child's plan?
- Extra time to complete assignments
- Books on tape
- Opportunity to respond orally
- Keyboarding instead of handwriting
- Be provided with highlighted text
- Give work in smaller portions
- Seat near a teacher
- Opportunity to leave the class for cool down periods
- Counseling services
- Short breaks
- Private signal if student is off task or needs to leave the room quickly
- Bathroom breaks
- Water as often as needed
- Release from PE
- Elevator pass
- Assistance in the hallways
- Wear a scarf or a hat
How do I request these services for my child?
- The parent can make their request for services in writing, or the child's teacher can make a referral to the counselor or 504 coordinator.
- A notice of referral is sent to the parent if the request is teacher initiated.
- A meeting is held to discuss the referral and decide if further evaluation is needed. If further evaluation is needed, the parent must sign consents and the school has 50 days to complete the evaluation and hold a meeting to discuss the findings. If no further evaluation is needed, the committee may proceed with creating a plan.
- A 504 eligibility determination form is completed and the team’s decision is documented. If your child is not eligible, the school must state the reason in writing. If your child is eligible, then the 504 plan is created and is implemented immediately.
- The 504 plan is reviewed annually. If any evaluations were necessary, a re-evaluation will take place every 3 years.
What if I disagree with the decision of the 504 committee?
The Office of Civil Rights (OCR) monitors this federal law. If you wish to file a complaint, you may go to their website: U.S. Department of Education - Office of Civil Rights.