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Sample 504 Plan for Anxiety Disorder

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  • 0:02 504 Plan Accommodations
  • 0:56 Environmental Accomodations
  • 2:52 Assignment Accomodations
  • 3:53 Behavioral Accomodations
  • 4:30 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Rebecca Bradshaw

Rebecca Bradshaw has a Master of Arts in Teaching and has experience teaching ELA, ESL, and high school CTE courses.

Anxiety disorder qualifies as a disability under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. This lesson provides examples of accommodations for a student with an anxiety disorder.

504 Plan Accommodations

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 was created to prevent discrimination in the classroom due to a disability. A student's 504 plan specifies accommodations, which are conveniences that will help the student be successful academically and in the classroom. These accommodations don't change what the student is learning but rather how the student is learning.

For students with anxiety disorder, accommodations can help ease anxiety and enhance the learning experience. After all, anxiety can greatly interfere with learning, and it can do so in different ways for different students, making individualized accommodations important to a student's success.

These accommodations may apply to the classroom environment, assignments, assessments, and/or behavior. Let's explore some accommodations that might be suitable for a 504 plan for a student with anxiety disorder.

Environmental Accommodations

First, let's look at some of the classroom-based environmental accommodations that are made under the 504 plan:

  • Preferential seating for the student. Seat the student by the teacher, in the front, and away from areas that may stimulate anxiety (like near the door or window).
  • Present directions verbally and in writing so the student can double-check that they understand expectations.
  • Allow the student to be exempt or at-will when students are answering questions on the board or in front of class.
  • Allow the student to be exempt or at-will when students are reading aloud to class.
  • Assign a buddy during lunch, recess, and/or unstructured activities.
  • Allow the student to leave classroom without permission for small breaks when feeling tense or anxious.
  • Let the student go and talk to a mentor/teacher of choice when feeling tense or anxious.
  • Allow the student to remove themselves and cool down when experiencing a conflict or tense situation.
  • Give the student the choice of seat in large group settings, such as during presentations in the gym or auditorium.
  • Provide prior notification, if possible, before a substitute teacher instructs the class or there's another substantial change in the daily routine.
  • During field trips, pair the student with teacher or aide, or invite parents along.
  • Provide prior notification, if possible, of fire drills, and place student with a mentor/teacher to minimize anxiety.
  • Use a recording device in the classroom to record lectures or discussions.
  • Provide copies of teacher notes to use during lectures or discussions.
  • Allow chewing gum to reduce tension.
  • Provide a bouncy chair that allows for movement while seated.
  • Incorporate a variety of lesson presentation avenues, such as small-group, large-group, computer-based, etc.
  • Provide a checklist for daily routines in the classroom, such as turning in assignments, putting up lunch, and going to the restroom.
  • Provide a study area or desk away from distractions while working independently.
  • Provide opportunities for socialization in the classroom.

Assignment Accommodations

Now let's look at some of the assignment and assessment accommodations made for anxious students:

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