Section 504 plans for children are individualized plans for students who have special needs. These plans ensure that the student receives the access and modifications necessary for his success in school. This could mean physical modifications to schools, such as accessible restrooms, or intangible modifications, such as note takers and assistance from interpreters. This plan refers to Section 504 of the 1973 Rehabilitation Act.
Eligible students who attend schools that receive federal funding must receive services under the 504 plan. Those who qualify for this type of plan generally do not meet the stringent requirements of special education services, but still have some needs that hinder their success in the classroom.
There are a number of different strategies that help students succeed in the 504 plan, including extra time to take tests or complete class work or having to complete smaller assignments than the other students in the class. The student may also receive some supplemental services such as classroom aides or occupational therapy.
Once a student is referred to the Section 504 plan, the school evaluates his eligibility by looking at whether the student has a mental or physical impairment, whether the impairment limits the child's major life activities such as learning, and the type of accommodations the student needs in order to receive his free and appropriate public education. The major life activities include tasks such as hearing, eating, walking, speaking and thinking, as well as the ability to perform self-care.