A 504 plan is a legal document. The purpose is to plan an instructional program to assist students with special needs who are participating in the general education curriculum. The 504 plan should not be confused with the Individual Education Program (IEP), but in some cases students transitioning from special education to general education may qualify under the conditions of 504.
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act is a federal civil rights law that has been in effect since 1973. The education-related components of Section 504 require the education system to provide the full range of accommodations and services necessary for students with disabilities to participate in public education programs and activities. All individuals who are disabled under the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) are also considered to be disabled, and therefore protected under Section 504. Not all individuals who are disabled under Section 504 meet the eligibility requirements under IDEA. The general education staff and school counselor will respond to the needs of students and families. This may take the form of a written 504 plan.
The student must be identified as disabled, as specified under Section 504: the individual has a physical or mental impairment, which substantially limits one or more of such person's major life activities; or has a record of such an impairment; or is regarded (perceived) as having such an impairment. If the individual meets one or more of the above criteria, they may qualify for the provisions under Section 504. This would be especially true if the student does not qualify for special education services under IDEA.
Please contact the school counselor at your child's buidling for more information or if you have addiitonal questions concerning a 504 plan.