504? What the heck is a 504 Plan?

Dec 27, 17 504? What the heck is a 504 Plan?

504 Plan

Many of you have heard of or have a child on a 504 Plan. But what are they? According to the Maryland Department of Disabilities

Section 504​​ Plans

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is a federal law that prohibits organizations that receive federal money from discriminating against a person on the basis of a disability. Section 504 typically applies to all public and many private schools.

Section 504 requires schools to make a “reasonable accommodation” for students with disabilities to allow them to participate in school and school-related activities. Section 504 Plans can be created to help students with disabilities get accommodations that are not covered by their IEPs. Or, students with disabilities who do not need an IEP may still get accommodations through a Section 504 Plan.

For example, a student who has diabetes may have a Section 504 Plan that includes a schedule for getting medication. A student who uses a wheelchair may have a Section 504 Plan that provides for special transportation during field trips.


Note the bold text above “disabilities not covered by an IEP” and “students with a disability who do not need an IEP.” What does this even mean? We all know learning disabilities and developmental disabilities are covered by IEPs. Essentially, a 504 is a catch-all plan for health conditions that don’t fall into the 13 health conditions covered by an IEP. To find out what 13 health conditions are covered click here to read our article comparing IEPs and 504s.



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External Resources

Support program: Autism Sibling Support Initiative

Support program: Sibling Support Project

Maryland Developmental Disabilities Council

Maryland Early Intervention and Special Education Services

Administration for Community Living

Pathfinders for Autism

Disability Scoop

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance




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