504 Plan

Did you know that your child has a right to a free and appropriate education regardless of their illness? This is stipulated under the Americans with Disabilities Act. However, it is often helpful to have a 504 plan. A 504 plan  is a written document that addresses special accommodations/modifications your child may need in order to perform at the same level as his/her peers without an illness.  Not every child with an illness requires a 504 plan but as a parent it is helpful to know that they are available. 

As a parent, you can request a 504 plan by talking with your child's teacher and/or principal. It's helpful to schedule a meeting in advance to talk about your child's illness and special needs. Go prepared with information about his/her diagnosis and medications. It also helps to have letters from your physician regarding medication doses, restricted activities, or special needs. For more information talk to your local school district and healthcare provider.

Keep in mind that not all schools need to comply with a 504 plan. Typically those excluded are private schools which don't receive any public funding. 504 plans can be carried over to college but it's important to contact the Office of Disabilities at the college/university to discuss this.     

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