Do you know what the “504 Plan” is?



This plan was created by Joseph Califano.

It has always been a preconceived idea for me that every single student got the same amount of time on tests. Everyone would walk into the classroom, start the test, and then all finish the assessment at the same time. It wasn’t until a couple of weeks ago that I realized that some people can actually get more time on assessments, depending on the person and situation. 

To my surprise, a classmate in my hour had the privilege of being able to discuss their “504” plan with their counselor. This was the first time I had ever heard about this, and it made me wonder what the meaning behind the number was. 

According to the website, The “504 plan” allows students to academically do better in school when certain disabilities they possess prevent them from doing so. This type of aid can range from having access to interchangeable textbooks, adjusted class schedules, and even more time on tests and quizzes. 

If you’d like to learn more about the “504 plan,” please feel free to check out any or all of the following links that I have sprinkled throughout this article.

When I first began to dig further into what this method entailed, the thing that intrigued me most was the fact that plans such as these are rudimentary because they not only accommodate kids with special needs, but also level out the playing ground for everyone and allow every student to reach their highest potential in school.

Historically speaking, 1949 was the first year awareness started to be raised about mental health, and soon after, May became the designated month to shine a light on this subject. Additionally, in 1973, the 1st civil rights for the protection of people with disabilities was enacted in “Section 504” of the rehabilitation act and signed into law.

Although this new implementation within some schools has only allowed everyone to thrive in an academic setting, here is the disheartening reality: notwithstanding the fact that it’s an initiative that has slowly started to disperse itself into schools specifically throughout the United States, it has not been able to be as effective as predicted. 

According to, thousands of schools within the U.S. are both able and unable to utilize the “504 plan,” and around 20-30 percent are able to use the 504 plans. Adding onto this,  only 2.3% of students have been able to utilize the method, a percentage that’s been on the up since 2009, over a decade ago now. 

But regardless of the obstacles this plan has had to encounter; one thing is certain: it is one step in improving the curriculum for students. Specifically, the groups of people with the following benefit the most from this: ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), diabetes, epilepsy, along with many others. 

Educating myself on the subject of this learning plan has not only allowed me to view my school from another perspective, but also just find gratitude in the fact that our school has the capability to even offer this plan to students. 

If you’d like to learn more about the “504 plan,” please feel free to check out any or all of the following links that I have sprinkled throughout this article.