504 Plan

The 504 Plan (or 504 Accommodation) is for the student that needs accommodations to access education but may not need specialized instruction.

Section 504 Requirements

Section 504 covers all programs that receive federal funds, including public education. Section 504 requires schools to make programs and activities accessible for children and youth with disabilities, including providing physical access and special accommodations or adaptations.

All students in special education are also protected by Section 504, which includes a larger group of students with disabilities. Some examples of disabilities that could be covered by Section 504 include:

  • Attention deficit disorder (ADD)
  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • Learning Disabilities
  • Cancer
  • Asthma
  • Special Health Care Needs
  • Parents with hearing impairments who need an interpreter
  • Homebound students requiring services for when the disability substantially limits a major life activity.

Although Section 504 does not require school districts to develop an individualized plan (IEP) with annual goals and objectives, it is recommended that schools document the services and/or accommodations that are provided for each eligible Section 504 student in a written plan. If a student requires 504 accommodations, a team (including parents) must have a meeting to develop a plan that outlines the student’s services and accommodations.

Parent and student participation should always be encouraged. The quality of educational services provided to students with disabilities must be the equivalent to the services provided to students without disabilities. Parents may request a Section 504 evaluation through their child’s classroom teacher if they believe the child qualifies under Section 504, or the child did not qualify for special education.


Information & Support

For Parents and Patients

Center for Parent Information and Resources
A large resource library related to children with disabilities. Locate organizations and agencies within each state that address disability-related issues.

Find Your Parent Center
Parent Centers provide education and referrals for families with a child who has a disability, as well as the professionals who work with them. There are almost 100 Parent Training and Information Centers (PTIs) and Community Parent Resource Centers (CPRCs) in the US states and Territories; Center for Parent Information & Resources.

Office of Civil Rights: U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
General information from the official website of the Office of Civil Rights: U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.

Rights and Responsibilities under Section 504 and the ADA (hhs.gov)
Information from the Office of Civil Rights on Section 504 and the Americans with Disabilities Act, which protect qualified individuals with disabilities from discrimination on the basis of disability in the provision of benefits and services; U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.

U.S. Department of Education
Official website of the U.S. Department of Education.

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
Clarifies pertinent requirements of Section 504 and answers more than 40 often-asked questions; U.S. Department of Education.

Parent and Educator Resource Guide to Section 504 in Public Elementary and Secondary Schools (PDF Document 644 KB)
This guide from the U.S. Department of Education provides information on what parents do when their child appears to need extra help in school, what kinds of assistance are available, who should parents speak with about their concerns and questions, and what is required of school staff.

Authors & Reviewers

Initial publication: July 2013; last update/revision: February 2021
Current Authors and Reviewers:
Author: Gina Pola-Money
Reviewer: Tina Persels
Authoring history
2018: update: Tina PerselsR
2014: first version: Shena McAuliffe, MFAR
AAuthor; CAContributing Author; SASenior Author; RReviewer