When a student suffers from a physical or mental impairment that limits their abilities with one or more major life activities, they will generally qualify for 504 Accommodations in school.1 For instance, if a student has a learning disability such as dyslexia or dysgraphia, or they suffer from asthma, they may be entitled to receive accommodations from their school’s staff so that they get the services they need while still being given the opportunity to learn with their peers.
There are various types of accommodations that can be provided to students depending on their condition and needs. For example, a student with a learning disability might need more time than his/her peers to complete a test or he/she may need to be removed from the classroom setting to complete certain types of tasks. These accommodations are expected to help students perform at their best while still allowing them to be a part of the general education classroom.
If a parent in New York believes their child should be provided with certain accommodations because they suffer from one or more physical/mental impairments, they can obtain and submit 504 forms with their child’s school.
After 504 Forms are Filed
After a parent has filled out the 504 Accommodation forms and submitted them to their child’s school, they should be contacted by the school’s 504 Coordinator to schedule a meeting. During this meeting, the New York City Department of Education says that there will be at least two people present who can:
- Discuss the child’s abilities and skills.
- Interpret reports or evaluations.
- Discuss the accommodations a child might need.
Sometimes, it is the child’s teacher and the 504 Coordinator who attend the meeting, and other times, it may be other professionals who are aware of the child’s abilities and limitations who are qualified to discuss the accommodations they may benefit from. Those who attend the meeting are considered part of the 504 team.
Now, during the 504 meeting, the 504 team will review certain information such as medical records, observations, the student’s academic abilities, etc. to determine what accommodations would most benefit the child. If the parent agrees to the recommendations that are made by the 504 team and they give their written consent, the child can then begin to receive accommodations.
It is important for parents to understand that once their child is placed on a 504 Plan, accommodations can be modified and removed as time goes on. They should be meeting with the 504 team throughout the year to discuss their child’s progress and whether the accommodations are actually helping them.
What if a school isn’t providing a child with the accommodations that are outlined in their 504 Plan?
If a child’s needs are being overlooked or their school is refusing to provide them with the accommodations their parent believes they need, they can contact The Law Offices of Lloyd Donders to speak with a New York special education lawyer on how to properly address the issue.
The Law Offices of Lloyd Donders can be reached at:
25 Maple Avenue, Suite 3B
Hastings-on-Hudson, NY 10706
Phone: (914) 588-9229
8 West 126th Street
New York, NY 10027