Section 504 What is it, and what does it have to do with ADHD? First, let’s say what 504 is NOT. It is not an IEP (individual education plan). An IEP can modify the CONTENT of what a child learns. Section 504 makes ACCOMMODATIONS in the child’s LEARNING ENVIRONMENT. What is Section 504? Section 504 is anti-discrimination legislation, a civil rights statute, not special education services. It is about providing accommodations that will compensate for a disability so that the student will have an equal chance to participate in class, not reduce expectations or modify grades. How does it do this? If a child is determined eligible for a 504 plan, he/she may receive accommodations and modifications in the classroom environment. What do you mean by accommodations or modifications? This means changing the way things are usually done in order to take into account a child’s disability-related needs. Examples may include modifying rules, policies, or practices; removal of architectural or communication barriers; or providing aids, services, or assistive technology. Is this like an I.E.P.? No. An individualized education program modifies the LEVEL of CONTENT taught, and a 504 plan modifies the learning environment by use of modifications such as peer tutoring, oral testing, abbreviated assignments, longer work time, alternative materials, cooperative learning, etc. How do I know if my child can qualify? Parents,teachers, or Support Team can request a meeting with the 504 committee. At the meeting, the 504 committee determines if the child’s disability has a significant impact on their educational performance. Do all children with ADHD qualify? No. The purpose of a 504 meeting is to determine whether or not a child is eligible. Some children with ADHD do well without modifications or accommodations. Also… The child must have a medical diagnosis of ADHD; this condition must substantially limit one or more major life activities and interfere with their academics. How will I know the 504 plan is being followed? Stay in touch with your child’s teacher. Know your parental rights under 504. Each year, look for an annual review meeting. If you don’t hear from someone, call the counselor’s office. Does my child stay on the same 504 forever? All children change and mature. If modifications or accommodations are no longer needed, a 504 review may determine the need for termination. For example, a child may need a quiet place to test in 3rd grade, but by 6th grade, they may have developed strategies to tune out extraneous classroom noise. Who is usually on the 504 committee? You, the parent. A 504 chairperson. An administrator. The child’s classroom teacher. Any other relevant adults at school who are closely associated with the child’s needs. Who is eligible under Section 504? If a child has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities. A child who has a record of such impairment. A child who is regarded as having such an impairment. What other disabilities fall under 504? Chronic asthma and severe allergies Behavior Disorders Communicable diseases such as HIV, AIDS, or TB Temporary disabling conditions due to accidents or illnesses Physical handicaps such as spina bifida, hemophilia, and conditions requiring crutches Diabetes Any other disability that limits a major life activity What does NOT change once my child is determined eligible? They are still expected to pass tests demonstrating mastery of basic skills. Content is not modified. A student in a 504 program is still subject to the school’s code of conduct and academic standards. Any questions?