A student with a recognized diagnosis that significantly impacts their academic functioning may qualify for a 504 plan. This type of plan falls under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 which prohibits discrimination and is meant to “level the playing field” against public school students with disabilities. A 504 plan can help students with learning issues related to their diagnosis participate in the general education curriculum and will outline how a student's specific needs should be met with accommodations or other services.
Before a 504 plan can be implemented or written at Colorado Early Colleges-Parker, however, your student must be determined to eligible by a multidisciplinary team. By federal law, a multidisciplinary team must determine that (1) the student has a condition and (2) that condition significantly impacts one or more “major life activities” such as (but not limited to): self-care, manual tasks, walking, seeing, speaking, sitting, thinking, learning, breathing, concentrating, interacting with others and working.
Diagnoses that may or may not qualify for a 504 plan include a wide variety of cognitive, attentional, learning, health and psychological conditions. A 504 is different from an IEP in that it ensures equal access to the educational environment but may or may not include services or accommodations. A student who is served under a 504 plan in high school, may be eligible for a 504 plan in collegiate services and previous 504s can be transferable to high school or collegiate services. Complaints regarding the lack of provision of 504 services are handled under the Office of Civil Rights rather than the Department of Education.