According to the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, "No otherwise qualified individual with a disability in the United States ... shall, solely by reason of her or his handicap, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subject to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance." This is known as Section 504 of the act. A 504 plan is a legal contract between a parent and the school district that outlines the assistance a child with a disability will receive during instruction.
Contact your child's school and ask to meet with the school's 504 coordinator, which every school is required to have. The coordinator will help you fill out the 504 request form.
You will then be set up for a meeting between you and the school board and your child's teachers. Your child will also meet with the school's nurse, psychologist and whom ever else is necessary to figure out what your child's needs are.
If your child has autism, add, and/or adhd be sure to have evaluation results with you and letters from their primary doctors in reference to their conditions. This helps insure your child to receive the services they need for special education or accommodations.
Bring with you all your paper work regarding your child's condition, there is no such thing as non-sufficient information.
Children with autism, adhd, and/or add should have a significant amount of paperwork regarding their diagnosis. Be sure that the paperwork is in order so you can easily access the information when requested.
Once the 504 plan is discussed and agreed upon and is signed by all parties (remember you do not have to sign anything you do not agree with), the plan then becomes a legal binding contract between all parties. A copy of this plan will be distributed to all your child's teachers, and they must follow all special accommodations listed in the 504 plan.
Children who have a diagnosis of autism, add, and/or ADHD may qualify for a 504 plan as well as an IEP. You should get the IEP for children who are in need of more services, you should get a 504 if the child is higher functioning and does not need as much assistance with accommodations.
Tips & Warnings
- A parent advocate is very helpful in these situations, you can find a local parent advocate in your local yellow pages and/or you can contact your child's school district for a list of parent advocates.
- To get more information please visit the resource section of this article.
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