A 504 Plan refers to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. It states that “no qualified individual with a disability shall, by reason of such disability, be excluded from participation in or be denied the benefits of the services, programs, or activities of a public entity, or be subjected to discrimination by any such entity”
In order to qualify for 504 plan you must have a disability. You are considered to have a disability if you:
(1) have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities; or
(2) have a record of such an impairment; or
(3) be regarded as having such an impairment.
Section 504 requires that school districts provide a free appropriate public education (FAPE) to qualified students in their jurisdictions who have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.”
Major life activities include, but are not limited to, walking, eating, and breathing. Because of this, those with food allergies may be eligible for a 504 plan. This plan states accommodations that are necessary for a student to “access the educational setting.”
A 504 plan has many benefits. One, it is documentation of an important conversation that needs to take place between the school personnel and the child’s parent/guardian. Two, if written well, it is a clear, concise plan that is easy for school staff members to communicate and to follow. Three, it is legally binding and offers families recourse if it is not followed.
For more information on 504 plans, see the resources below. If you would like help determining appropriate accommodations for a child, contact us for a consultation.
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