What Is a 504 Plan?
504 plans are formal plans that schools develop to give kids with disabilities the support they need. That covers any condition that limits daily activities in a major way.
These plans prevent discrimination. And they protect the rights of kids with disabilities in school. They’re covered under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. This is a civil rights law.
504 plans aren’t part of special education. So, they’re different from IEPs. 504 plans and IEPs are covered by different laws and work in different ways. But the end goal is the same: to help students thrive in school.
What’s the difference between an IEP and a 504 plan?
504 plans get their name from Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, a broad civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in any agency, school, or institution receiving federal funds.
Section 504 requires schools to eliminate barriers that would prevent a student from participating fully in the programs and services offered in the general curriculum by providing reasonable accommodations. Those accommodations may be documented in a plan called a 504 plan.
Both IEPs and 504 plans are intended to ensure that students with disabilities have equal access to education.
The difference is: IEPs are developed for students who receive specialized instruction. 504 plans are for students who have accessibility requirements (e.g., extended time for tests and assignments, large print classroom materials, etc.), but do not require specialized instruction, and do not qualify for special education programs under Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
Request an Evaluation
To request your child be considered for a 504, please submit your request in writing (not email). Please be sure to sign the bottom of the letter. Your request should be addressed to Dr. Tanya McDonald and must contain the following information:
♦ Your Childs full name and date of birth
♦ Your full name and contact information
♦ Your concerns for your child you would like addressed
You can either drop your signed letter off at your Childs school, or mail your request to 51 West Cliff Street Somerville NJ 08876. Once received, a member of the Child Study Team will reach out to you to set up a meeting with you to discuss further steps to be taken.
For more information, please visit the NJ Department of Education's website at the link below.