When talking about getting kids with ADHD or Dyslexia help in school, you will often be asked if they have a “504 plan”. So many parents have no idea what this plan really is. Section 504 is part of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and is a broad civil rights law which protects individuals with disabilities in any agency, school, or institution receiving federal funds from discrimination and establishes their right to have the opportunity to full participate with their peers. What that means is that Section 504 levels the playing field for student with disabilities by allowing for accommodations to the curriculum and to the way that the curriculum is presented. For example, a student with Dyslexia often has poor reading fluency so a popular 504 accommodation is for extended time on tests and quizzes so that the student has a fair amount of time to complete the test. The test may also be read to that student if it is not a “reading” test. A social studies test is a test of the facts and concepts learned, but not a test to determine if the student can read/spell the material. Section 504 can be used for any student with any type of documented disability who does not need the curriculum modified…meaning that they can learn all the same concepts but the delivery process just needs to be tweaked. Typically, the school counselor is in charge of the 504 program. For students under the 504 umbrella, teachers and parents meet once a year to discuss the accommodation plan in place and determine if any changes need to be made. Once a student is no longer accessing the accommodations on their plan, they may be dismissed from the program.