A 504 plan is a plan developed to meet the requirements of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 ("Section 504") that prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities.
Section 504 requires schools that receive federal assisatnce to provide to students with disabilities appropriate educational services that meet the individual needs of such students to the same extent these schools meet the needs of students without disabilities. This includes providing a free appropriate public education (FAPE) to qualified students in their jurisdictions who have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.
To be protected under Section 504, a student must be determined to:
Have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities; or
Have a record of such an impairment; or
Be regarded as having such an impairment.
To be protected under Section 504, a child does not need to have academic difficulty.
Because different students need different things, 504 Plans are very different across students. They will also change over time for a particular student based on his or her needs.
For additional information regarding Section 504, please see the U.S. Department of Education FAQs About Section 504 and the Education of Children With Disabilities.