504 Plans in Indiana

Instructor: Alyssa Kominsky

Alyssa has taught middle school and high school English and has a bachelor's degree in secondary English education with a minor in creative writing.

The Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Section 504 ensures that students with disabilities receive accommodations so that they may be successful in the classroom. Read on for the specifics about the 504 plan in Indiana.

Section 504 in Indiana

Under Section 504, Indiana students with disabilities cannot be denied access to the academic and extracurricular activities of their nondisabled peers simply because of their disability. Children who do not have an IEPs may be eligible for certain accommodations under a 504 plan.

Who is Eligible for a 504 Plan?

Section 504 covers students whose disabilities significantly limit their daily lives and activities in one or more ways. These ways may include, but are not limited to:

  • Breathing
  • Hearing
  • Learning
  • Seeing
  • Caring for oneself
  • Walking
  • Functions related to the immune system, brain, respiratory system, and reproductive functions, among others

What is the Process for Determining Eligibility?

Indiana requires that parents interested in having their child tested for eligibility need to express their interest to the school in writing, and the school must respond to that request within 10 days. After that, the initial screening process can begin. The response from the school should require an evaluation timeline, a description of the procedures that will take place, and how the parents can receive more detailed information (which may include a meeting) from the school. Schools must evaluate a child before classifying them. If a school district wishes to have a child evaluated under an alternate process, they must follow the steps outlined in the Section 504 regularity requirements.

Once a school has determined the area of needs for the child, the district will need parental consent to move forward with the process. The next step is an evaluation of the student's needs, conducted by the multidisciplinary team, or M-team. Indiana law specifies that the evaluation report must include information about the following, when applicable:

  • Student development
  • The student's ability to obtain information
  • Achievements in school
  • Behaviors and function in class
  • Communication, social, and motor skills
  • Medical and mental health information

Using the child's disability or disabilities, the M-team can create a 504 plan. A student's plan must meet their individual needs, and outline all recommended accommodations. Parents need to approve the plan before it can be put into action. Reevaluations must occur once every three years and are mandatory before any changes to the plan can be made.

What Accommodations May Be Provided?

Students who have a disability and are covered under Section 504 may receive some accommodations. Indiana law states that these accommodations must be appropriate for the student's unique needs, which might mean that a student remains in a regular education classroom, that they might receive supplementary services in a regular education classroom, or that the student may be placed in a special education classroom with necessary services. Accommodations may include:

  • Medical administration, or testing of blood levels
  • Access to services in alternative locations
  • Use of tape recorders, calculators, and/or digital books
  • Note taking
  • Alterations to class scheduling
  • Modified tests, homework, and classwork
  • A behavior management plan
  • Time modifications for assessments

Additional Resources

For more information on Section 504, take a look at Study.com's lesson, How Students Qualify for Special Education Services. In addition, the Resources for Teaching Special Education course includes lessons with sample 504 lesson plans.

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