504 Plan

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504 Plan

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
  • Allergies
  • Diabetes
  • Epilepsy
  • Asthma

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 provide.

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:

Trained Personnel

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.

Medication Administration

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.

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