What is a 504 Plan?
The "504" in "504 plan" refers to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act, which specifies that no one with a disability can be excluded from participating in federally funded programs or activities, including elementary, secondary or postsecondary schooling. “Disability” in this context refers to a "physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities." This can include physical impairments; illnesses or injuries; communicable diseases; chronic conditions like asthma, allergies and diabetes; and learning problems. A 504 plan spells out the modifications and accommodations that will be needed for these students to have an opportunity to perform at the same level as their peers, and might include such things as wheelchair ramps, blood sugar monitoring, an extra set of textbooks, a peanut-free lunch environment, or a tape recorder or keyboard for taking notes.

Eligibility under Section 504
To be protected under Section 504 and entitled to a Section 504 plan, a student must:
1) Have a physical or mental impairment that
2) Substantially limits
3) One or more major life activities

IMPORTANT: A student with a particular impairment or medical diagnosis is not necessarily “disabled” under Section 504. The impairment or diagnosed condition must substantially limit one or more major life activities. For example, a student who has a physical or mental impairment would not be considered a student in need of services under Section 504 if the impairment does not in any way limit the student’s ability to learn or other major life activity, or only results in some minor limitation in that regard.
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