Friday, March 10, 2017

School Resources for Children with Chronic Disabilities: Section 504

            From the desks of Nurse Practitioners 
                  Katie Faragher and Josie Dawe:

Parents are required to request the 504 evaluation....your pediatrician or nurse practitioner cannot request it from the school. 

Katie Faragher, CPNP
Section 504 is a federal law that protects students with disabilities from being discriminated against at school. The law requires the school to provide children with disabilities the same opportunities as students without disabilities. This is done by providing reasonable accommodations and modifications. Disabilities covered under Section 504 include physical and/or mental impairments that substantially limits a major life activity such as walking, learning, hearing, seeing, concentrating, thinking, etc. 

Not all children with disabilities qualify for a 504 plan. The disability must interfere with the child’s ability to learn or access school programs. Some examples of disabilities that may qualify include ADHD and other learning disabilities, diabetes, anxiety, or physical impairments.

Each school district has a 504 plan policy  that explains how Section 504 works for their school district. In general, a parent makes a referral in writing to the 504 contact person. You can contact the school administration to find out who the 504 contact person is.  Next an evaluation is completed and a 504 meeting takes place to determine eligibility. If the student is found to be qualified a 504 plan will be developed.  The plan will outline specific accommodations, supports or services, along with names of school professionals who will provide each service.

Josie Dawe, CPNP
How Can Section 504 Help Your Child?

Examples of Section 504 accommodations might include:

  • Extended time on state and local assessments for students with anxiety
  • Preferential classroom seating away from distraction for students with ADHD
  • Stop the clock testing for students with diabetes to check their blood sugar as needed during state and local assessments

For further information on 504 plans visit websites listed below:

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