Basics about your child’s rights

At a Glance: Your Rights in the 504 Plan Process

By Andrew M.I. Lee

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If your child doesn’t qualify for an Individualized Education Program (IEP), she may still be able to get help through a 504 plan. This graphic shows important rights under a 504 plan.

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At a Glance: Your Rights in the 504 Plan Process

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act requires that schools provide assistance to children with disabilities, including many with learning and attention issues. Here are some important rights to know.

The Right to…
Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE)
The school must meet your child’s educational needs as adequately as it meets the needs of students without disabilities. An IEP isn’t required, but an educational plan is.

Accommodations and Modifications

A 504 plan can include accommodations that adjust or adapt school for your child. To meet the needs of a child with a writing issue, an accommodation might be a computer for typing. The plan can also modify or change what your child is expected to learn.

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


A school must tell parents about significant educational decisions. You have the right to know about things like identification, evaluation and classroom placement.

Challenge a School’s Decision

If you disagree with a school decision about your child’s education, you have several ways to challenge it. You can ask for a hearing where an impartial officer decides your case. You can file a complaint with the federal Office for Civil Rights. A last resort is to file a lawsuit.
Graphic of At a Glance: Your Rights in the 504 Plan Process
Graphic of At a Glance: Your Rights in the 504 Plan Process

About the Author

Portrait of Andrew Lee

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

Reviewed by

Portrait of Kylah Torre

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

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