What is a 504 Plan? What Teachers and Parents Need to Know


A 504 Plan is an essential tool that aims to provide equal educational opportunities for students with disabilities. It helps remove any barriers that may hinder a child’s learning process. Teachers and parents must understand the importance of this plan, as their cooperation and dedication are vital in ensuring the success of the child in school.

Understanding a 504 Plan:

A 504 Plan, named after Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, is a legal document designed to accommodate students with disabilities in public schools. The primary objective of this plan is to make necessary adjustments or modifications within the regular classroom setting, enabling children with disabilities to learn effectively.

Eligibility for a 504 Plan:

The eligibility criteria for a 504 Plan requires that a student has a physical or mental impairment that significantly impacts one or more major life activities. Examples of these activities include walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, working, and social interactions.

The 504 Plan Process:

1. Identification: Teachers or parents can identify a child who may need special accommodations. Schools also use screenings and assessments to identify such students.

2. Referral: A referral for a Section 504 evaluation is made by teachers, parents or other school professionals.

3. Evaluation: The school conducts evaluations to determine if the student meets the eligibility criteria under Section 504.

4. Team Meeting: A team consisting of teachers, administrators, parents and other professionals gather to discuss the student’s needs and develop an appropriate plan.

5. Development and Implementation: The team collaborates on creating the individualized 504 Plan, specifying necessary accommodations, modifications or services needed for the student.

6. Review: The plan is reviewed regularly (at least annually) and updated as needed.

Examples of Accommodations:

– Preferential seating in the classroom

– Extended time for assignments and tests

– Alternatives to written assignments

– Modified grading scales

– Use of assistive technology

Roles of Teachers and Parents:

Teachers play a significant role in implementing the 504 Plan, as they are responsible for providing necessary accommodations within the classroom. They should be knowledgeable about the plan, maintain its confidentiality, and communicate with parents regularly.

Parents should be partners in the process, providing insights about their child’s needs and working collaboratively with the school. They must be aware of their child’s rights under Section 504 and advocate for their appropriate implementation.


A 504 Plan is a valuable resource that supports students with disabilities in achieving academic success. Understanding how it works and knowing each party’s responsibilities will help create an environment where every child can flourish academically and socially.

Choose your Reaction!