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What are 504 accommodations?

Students who suffer from disabilities still need to go to school. What can a school do to help? One thing is to follow the law and provide 504 accommodations.

What are 504 Accommodations in schools?

Students who have certain kinds of mental and physical disabilities may not qualify as disabled under state or federal laws, but that doesn't mean they don't need accommodations at school. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 makes it illegal to discriminate against people who have disabilities.

What does a school have to do to help those with disabilities?

504 accommodations are inexpensive, simple changes that a school takes to accommodate a student with disabilities in the classroom. For instance, a student who can't see well even with glasses should be moved to the front of the room. A student who can't hear should be given a transcript of the day's lesson plan. Students who have ADD or ADHD should be given an area to work with fewer distractions. Those with autism or problems adjusting to new situations should be talked to about changes that could affect their routine. If a child suffers from hyperactivity, he or she should be able to have a small object that can be manipulated while working to keep the mind active and concentrated.

It's also important that the teacher doesn't draw unnecessary attention to the student's disability. It's not something that the teacher should point out to the class or talk to others about, unless the student's parents have requested that this be done. Schools usually have a 504 coordinator, so if you feel your child needs these accommodations, you can speak to him or her about it. If your child's not receiving the help needed after discussing the issue with the school, you may have a case against the school for discrimination.

Source: FindLaw, "504 Accommodations in Schools," accessed July 08, 2016

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