A 504 Plan helps a child with special healthcare needs to fully participate in school. Usually, a 504 Plan is used by a general education student who is not eligible for special education services. A 504 Plan lists accommodations related to the child’s disability and required by the child so that he or she may participate in the general classroom setting and educational programs.
For example, a 504 Plan may include:
- Plans to make a school wheelchair accessible
- Your child’s assistive technology needs during the school day
- Permission for your child to type assignments instead of writing them by hand
- Permission for your child to hand in assignments late due to illness or a hospital stay
Your child may be eligible for accommodations under a 504 Plan if he or she has a physical or mental health disability that limits one or more major life functions. A 504 Plan is supported by the federal civil rights law, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. A 504 Plan is to be provided in programs that receive federal funds, such as public schools.
Each school is required to have a Section 504 Coordinator. Developing any plan requires working together as a team. Work with your child’s school nurse, primary care provider (PCP), and the Section 504 Coordinator to create a 504 Plan.
In developing a 504 plan, the process should include:
- A school evaluation
- A letter from your child’s PCP describing the disability, related problems, and needed medications and/or treatments
- Identification of the accommodations to be provided – physical and instructional
- Your child’s Individualized Health Care Plan (IHCP)
- A copy of the Emergency Information Form for Children with Special Health Needs
If you are having trouble creating a 504 Plan or getting appropriate accommodations for your child, contact the US Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights at 617-223-9662 or 617-223-9695 (TTY).
This information is provided in part by the Division of Perinatal, Early Childhood, and Special Health Needs within the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and mass.gov.