Sample 504 Plan for Food Allergies

Instructor: Elizabeth Hemmons

Beth has taught early childhood education, including students with special needs, for the past 11 years. She has a bachelor's degree in Elementary Education.

In this lesson, we will discuss the importance of creating a 504 plan for students with severe food allergies. We will also provide some examples of accommodations that would benefit these students in the classroom.

504 Plans for Students with Food Allergies

A trend among students who suffer from severe food allergies is to develop a written food allergy management plan. This can be in the form of a 504 plan, which is supported by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. A 504 plan is an individualized plan for a student who has a disability that affects his or her life activities and ability to succeed in the classroom, and the aim is to ensure that students with disabilities receive free and appropriate public education.

Usually, 504 plans are provided for students who do not qualify for individualized education plans (IEPs) yet still need accommodations in the classroom. Since students with severe food allergies could have reactions that result in major medical episodes, they are considered to have a disability and, therefore, may be eligible for a 504 plan.

504 Plan Eligibility

To qualify for a 504 plan, a child must have a health impairment that significantly impacts his or her daily life. This impairment can be physical or mental. Once a child has been identified as having a disability that limits his or her essential life activities, such as a severe food allergy, an evaluation needs to be completed to see if the student is eligible for a 504. This evaluation includes medical documentation, parent questionnaires, student observation, and academic records.

After the evaluation has been completed, the 504 team will discuss the findings and decide if a 504 plan is appropriate. The school district is then required to provide an appropriate education for that child, including any modifications or accommodations needed.

504 Committee

If the student is eligible, the 504 plan is created by the student's 504 committee, which includes the student (if age appropriate), parents, and teachers (general and special education). Sometimes, the committee will also include the school principal, school nurse, or other school staff that interact with the student on a daily basis.

The committee will work together to create a plan that provides modifications, accommodations, and special support and services that the child needs to function safely and effectively in the classroom. This plan will also outline specific people who are responsible for certain medical tasks for the student. For example, the school nurse may be responsible for keeping the EpiPen available for emergency situations.

Accommodations/Modifications for Food Allergies

A 504 plan for a student with a severe food allergy, such as an allergy to peanuts, eggs, or shellfish, may include the following modifications and accommodations:

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