Transition to Kindergarten Parent Guides: What Is a 504 Plan for Children with Special Needs?
If your child has a physical or mental disability, she/he may be eligible for a 504 plan.
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is the civil rights law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability; and guarantees individuals with disabilities equal access to an education.
What is a 504 plan?
- A 504 plan is a written plan created for students with disabilities who require modifications and/or accommodations to be successful in the classroom.
- A 504 plan is not an Individualized Education Program (IEP) which requires more specialized instruction.
An eligible person/student is any person who:
- has a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits a major life activity (such as learning, caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, speaking, hearing and working); and has a record of such impairment; or
- is regarded as having such an impairment; and
- is of age, birth to 26 years old, in the state of Michigan.
What accommodations are considered appropriate under Section 504?
- Education in typical classroom settings.
- Education in typical classrooms with supplementary services, modifications and/or accommodations.
- Special education and related services.
- Any combination of the above.
Parents, teachers, adult-aged students, other staff, or community agencies can request a review for Section 504 eligibility determination.
- Submit a written request to the school asking for an evaluation to determine if there is a significant impact on the child’s learning and/or behavior.
- Request a copy of your school district’s policies and procedures on Section 504.
- A 504 committee could include parents, teachers, social workers, Section 504 coordinator, school psychologist, school administrator or others with knowledge of the child, the evaluations and the school resources.
- This committee determines student needs based on information gathered from a variety of sources.
- An accommodation plan is written to address the individual needs of the eligible student.
- Plans are reviewed periodically (generally on a yearly basis)
- A plan may be terminated; once an evaluation has been completed and the 504 committee determines, based on the information gathered from a variety of sources, that the student no longer has a substantial limitation to a major life activity.
- 504 plans and termination documentation become part of the student’s school records.
Note: Students in Special Education are also covered by the protections of Section 504. For more information on the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, including a 504 plan, please visit the following website: http://www.usdoj.gov/crt/ada/cguide.htm.
Reprinted with the permission of the Michigan Department of Education. © 2001-2007 State of Michigan
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