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What is a 504 plan? What should they include?

Every child learns differently. Children have different strengths and challenges; they thrive and struggle under different conditions; they have different approaches to learning. As such, while traditional educational styles and settings can work for some students, they may not work for children with a learning disability.

If your child is one of millions of students who have a learning or attention issue, then you may want to explore the options for a formal educational plan to help them succeed. For many kids, this means having a 504 plan.

What is a 504 plan?

As this Understood.org article explains, a 504 plan is a guide for what a school will do to help a child succeed in the classroom. Many people think it is the same as an Individualized Education Program, or IEP, but it is not. Broadly speaking, a 504 plan is less formal than an IEP and it can be for students who are not eligible for an IEP. 

A 504 plan may or may not be in writing and each one is tailored to the specific needs of the child.

What does a 504 plan include?

Every 504 plan will be different, but in general, they should address similar information. This can include:

  • The types of accommodations and services the school will provide
  • The names of the people responsible for each accommodation
  • Rules for implementing the plan
  • Details on when and where services and supports will be available

Essentially, the information in a 504 plan should reflect what your child needs to overcome classroom and learning challenges and details on how those needs will be met.

If your child has challenges that create roadblocks in his or her learning experience, it may be wise to talk to the school about a 504 plan. If you have questions about implementing the plan or confronting issues with the school or educators, you can talk to an attorney who can advise you of your legal rights and options.

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