What is a 504 Plan?

A 504 plan is a formal plan that is developed by the school for students who have a physical or mental disability that substantially limits a major life activity to provide the student with access to the same education that their peers are getting.

504 plans are not a part of special education and are covered under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which is a civil rights law for people with disabilities. The two main purposes of the Section 504 are to provide FAPE (Free Appropriate Public Education) and to prohibit discrimination against people with disabilities that are in programs or activities that receive federal funding.


Any student who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more life activities, including: walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, working or self-care. The impairment must adversely affect the student academically, meaning that the disability must interfere with the student’s ability to learn in a general education setting alongside their peers.


  • Referral is made by the school, parent or the recommendation of the child’s physician.

  • Parent signs consent for testing and provides any medical documentation.

  • School psychologist reviews medical documentation, completes necessary testing. The testing is based on the suspected disability and may include: cognitive, academic and/or social emotional.

  • The 504 committee meets to review reports and evaluation to determine eligibility.

  • Recommendations go to the school board for approval.

  • Parent signs initial consent for services.

  • 504 plans are reviewed annually and students are reevaluated every three years.