What are your rights in the 504 plan process?

By Andrew M.I. Lee, JD

Expert reviewed by Kylah Torre

If your child has a 504 plan or is being evaluated for one, you have legal rights. Here are the most important ones to know.

The right to free appropriate public education (FAPE)

Kids with have the right to a free appropriate public education. The school must meet your child’s educational needs just as it meets the needs of other students.

The right to accommodations and modifications

A 504 plan can include , which are changes in school and the classroom that allow your child to take part in learning. For example, to meet the needs of a child who struggles with writing, an accommodation might be a computer for typing. A 504 plan may also modify or change what your child is expected to learn. This is called a modification.

The right to instruction and services

To give your child an education comparable to that of other students, a 504 plan may include specialized instruction. The plan can also provide related services, like speech therapy, occupational therapy, or even counseling.

The right to notice

Schools must tell families about significant educational decisions that impact their kids. You have the right to know about things like identification, evaluation, and classroom placement.

The right to challenge a school’s decision

If you disagree with a school’s decision about your child’s education, you have the right to challenge it. You can ask for a hearing where an impartial officer decides your case. You can also file a complaint with the federal Office for Civil Rights.

About the author

About the author

Andrew M.I. Lee, JD is an editor and attorney who strives to help people understand complex legal, education, and parenting issues.

Reviewed by

Reviewed by

Kylah Torre is an instructor in the department of special education at Hunter College.


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