504 Plans in Illinois Schools
504 plans in Illinois outline the accommodations that will be
provided to help students with disabilities access their education and
participate in school-related activities. 504 plans are derived from
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which prohibits
institutions and agencies receiving federal funds from discriminating
against individuals with disabilities.
Who Qualifies for a 504 Plan?
504 plans accommodate a wide scope of disabilities, which may or may
not be covered under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
(IDEA). To qualify, students must have a condition that limits their
ability to perform day-to-day functions, which include activities
ranging from walking and caring for one's self to speaking and hearing.
Students must also be from 3-22 years of age. Disabilities that could
qualify for a 504 plan in Illinois include:
- Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
- Blindness or visual impairment
- Deafness or hearing impairment
- Mental illness
- Heart disease
A student with a temporary condition that prevents him or
her from easily accessing school-related activities can also qualify for
a 504 plan. For example, a student who recently had a major injury or
surgery might need temporary accommodations, which the school must
What Do 504 Plans Look Like?
504 plans are not as detailed as an Individualized Education Plan
(IEP), meaning they don't include learning objectives, goals, statements
of performance, and other components of an IEP. Rather, 504 plans
generally include a specific list of all the ways a school will actively
accommodate a student with special needs.
You can learn more about the differences between IEPs and 504 plans and check out examples of accommodations before viewing some items that might be included in a 504 plan for a student with diabetes:
This accommodation means that a subset of educators or administrators
will become trained in the resources children with diabetes need to
stay safe, active, and healthy in the school environment. The 504 plan
might list the personnel and specify the training they will receive.
A 504 plan might specify certain times for a student to check his or
her blood glucose levels each day, but also include a provision that the
student check glucose levels whenever the need arises. A 504 plan could
also outline a schedule for administering insulin.
Snacks and Meals
A 504 plan could also specify that the school will work with parents
to develop a meal plan that ensures the child receives proper nutrition.
For example, a 504 plan might state that a child will eat lunch as
regularly scheduled, but will be provided lunch early if he or she is
experiencing hypoglycemia. Additionally, he or she might always have
access to a snack to enhance glucose when needed.