School is just around the corner…

Going places others don't always even try.

Always looking forward from a little different perspective.

With school just around the corner, it’s time to reread your children’s IEP or 504.  Could a 504 with appropriate accommodations make for a more successful year?  The following is from  by Laura Kaloe, NCLD Public Policy Director

Is a 504 Plan Right for My Child?

When you are making a decision about how to seek support for your child at school it’s important to know your options to request help under the federal law. There are two laws for K-12 students in public school that may offer supports and services: the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Schools that receive federal funding are obligated to serve students under Section 504; however, no federal funds are provided to directly support offering Section 504 services.This article focuses on whether seeking a 504 plan might be the right solution to helping your child be successful in school. 504 plans are developed by school teams and parents to support the educational needs of a K-12 student with a disability that “substantially limits one or more major life activity” such as: learning, speaking, listening, reading, writing, concentrating, caring for oneself, etc. A 504 plan is a good option for a K-12 student if:

  • The child has an identified learning disability (LD) or Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD) but does not meet the requirements of IDEA for special education services and supports
  • The child is currently receiving informal accommodations or ongoing support at school

504 Option: When Your Child Does Not Meet the Requirements of IDEA

The IDEA law requires that your child must meet two prongs of the law in order to be served by special education:

  1. the child must have one (or more) of the 13 disabilities listed in IDEA which includes learning disabilities and attention disorders; and,
  2. as a result of the disability, the child needs special education to make progress in school in order to benefit from the general education program.

This legal requirement essentially says that some kids with LD or AD/HD may not meet the state or district requirementsof the second prong. While the student may have a disability, it may not be impacting their learning in ways that qualify them for special education services. These students however, because they have an LD or AD/HD, may meet the requirement to have a 504 plan if their disability “substantially limits them in performing one or more major life activity.”

Effective January 2009, eligibility for protection under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act became broader. Some students who did not qualify in the past may now qualify for Section 504 plans. Students with Section 504 plans may now qualify for additional supports, services, auxiliary aids, and/or accommodations in public schools.disabilities.For the rest of the article visit and search 504 plans.

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