What a 504 is

January 1, 2020

The process of getting a 504 is relatively easy. The parent has to file a formal request with the school’s 504 coordinator, who should respond to the request within a matter of days to organize a student evaluation.

According to the US Department of Education, any student that has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, and has a record of such an impairment, qualifies for a 504. Reasons for getting a 504 include ADHD, anxiety disorders, and reading or math disabilities. 

Accommodations can include longer test times, breaks during class, preferential seating, as well as many other possibilities, depending on the student’s impairment. 

Some students who have a 504 plan benefit from it and need it for genuine reasons.

“For me, having a 504 is really beneficial in helping when I’m stressed out or having a lot of anxiety,” said anonymous. “I can go to the counselor’s office to calm down and take a break. Also if I’m anxious about a test I can ask to take it another day, and I also had a really bad concussion so it takes me a little extra time to read which makes it helpful having extra time on tests.”

These types of accommodations are mandated by federal law so that students can learn without being separated from their classmates.

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