A Section 504 Plan is a general educational plan for children who “have an impairment that substantially limits a major life activity” and “that impairment prohibits them from receiving the school’s services as adequately as non-disabled peers.” You can learn more about 504 Plans in our blog post here. We walk you through what a 504 Plan is and describe the 5 steps to getting one for your child.

Although you don’t have to have a firm list of accommodations for your child when you meet with the school team, it can be really helpful for you to come prepared with ideas. Keep in mind that many of these accommodations are very rare and hard to get approved. 

How to Use This List

Here is a list of common Section 504 Plan accommodations. We typically suggest you have up to 3 accommodations for up to 3 areas of difficulty. To learn more about how to prepare for a 504 meeting or to identify accommodations for your child, take the 504 course. What do you think would help your child succeed? Write down your top accommodations, and bring it to the meeting with your child’s school team. 

* Items noted with this star indicate that these accommodations are offered for either the SAT exam or college accommodation plans or both. Parents and students are wise to focus on these accommodations for 504 Plans during late middle school or early high school. The College Board will not approve accommodations that were not in place far prior to the actual SAT or ACT exam dates.

Typical 504 Plan Accommodations by Impairment

504 plan accommodations for ADHD and inattention problems

To learn more, try our focused attention course

  • Extended or time on tests, assignments, and/or homework *
  • Verbal, visual, or technology aids, such as text-to-speech technology
  • Adjusted class schedules or grading
  • Oral exams*
  • Frequent breaks
  • Change student seating 
  • Utilize a study carrel 
  • Use written directions to supplement oral directions
  • A quiet testing space or room, such as the library or resource room *
  • Seat the student close to the teacher or to a good role model
  • Allow the student to share notes with a buddy
  • Checking in frequently on key concepts
  • Assign a buddy to work with student at end of day to make sure all needed materials and books are brought home
  • Class schedule adjusted so those classes requiring the most mental focus are at the beginning of the school day
  • Adjustments to grading, like modifying weight given to exams, breaking test down into segments, and grading segments separately, partial credit for late homework with full credit for make-up work
  • Preferential seating, such as near the front of the room or away from the door *
  • Appointing “row captains” or “homework buddies” to remind students to write down assignments and collect work to turn into the teacher
  • Peer assistance with note-taking *
  • Clear and simple directions for class assignments and homework, with repeated directions, posted homework assignments on the board, and supplementing verbal instructions with visual or written instructions
  • Highlighted textbooks and workbooks

504 plan accommodations for processing speed issues

  • Reduced homework or classwork, such as have student complete either even or odd problems when written work or homework is assigned
  • Verbal, visual, or technology aids, such as text-to-speech technology
  • Modified textbooks or audio-video materials *
  • Excused lateness, absence, or missed classwork *
  • Allow the student to share notes with a buddy
  • Getting outlines of lessons *
  • Multiple-choice or fill-in-the-blank test format instead of an essay
  • Class schedule adjusted so those classes requiring the most mental focus are at the beginning of the school day
  • Adjustments to grading, like modifying weight given to exams, breaking test down into segments, and grading segments separately, partial credit for late homework with full credit for make-up work *
  • Use of a calculator *
  • Chunking or breaking down tests into smaller sections to complete, and breaks between sections
  • Teaching memory skills like mnemonics, visualization, oral rehearsal, and repetitive practice
  • Use books on tape *
  • Peer assistance with note-taking

504 plan accommodations for impulsivity issues

To learn more, try our impulsivity course

  • A quiet test room *
  • Seat the student close to the teacher or to a good role model
  • Daily report cards or progress reports tracking behavior
  • Do not take recess away for misbehavior in class
  • Use positive redirects when behavior becomes inappropriate
  • Preferential seating, such as near the front of the room or away from the door *
  • Audio taping of lectures *
  • One-on-one tutoring

504 plan accommodations for hyperactivity issues

To learn more, try our hyperactivity course

  • Frequent breaks between assignments or tasks *
  • The option to take tests over multiple days with frequent breaks *
  • Daily report cards or progress reports tracking behavior
  • Do not take recess away for misbehavior in class
  • Use of computer for written work, or do oral reports or hands-on project to demonstrate the learning of the material
  • Use positive redirects when behavior becomes inappropriate
  • Chunking or breaking down tests into smaller sections to complete, and breaks between sections
  • Use books on tape

504 plan accommodations for anxiety issues

  • Pressure pass to see counselor
  • Pre-approved nurse’s office visits and accompaniment to visits
  • Frequent breaks
  • A quiet testing room or space, such as the library or resource room *
  • Seating the anxious student away from kids who tend to need reprimands
  • Small-group lunch bunches, not in the noisy lunchroom
  • Preferential seating, such as near the front of the room or away from the door
  • Audio taping of lectures *

504 plan accommodations for planning & organization issues

  • Modified textbooks or audio-video materials
  • Allow the student to share notes with a buddy
  • Getting outlines of lessons *
  • Checking in frequently on key concepts
  • Assistance with organization, prioritization, and problem-solving
  • Organizational assistance at the end of each class or end of day, such as assigning a buddy to work with student at end of day to make sure all needed materials and books are brought home
  • Audio taping of lectures *
  • Extra set of books to keep at home
  • Clear and simple directions for class assignments and homework, with repeated directions, posted homework assignments on the board, and supplementing verbal instructions with visual or written instructions

504 plan accommodations for behavior management

  • Establish a home/school communication system for behavior monitoring 
  • Reinforce self-monitoring and self-recording of behaviors
  • Post rules and consequences for classroom behavior 
  • Put student on daily/weekly progress report/contract 
  • Implement behavioral/academic contracts 
  • Utilize positive verbal and/or nonverbal reinforcements 
  • Utilize logical consequences 

504 Plan Accommodations for Specific Settings

Accommodations for homework

  • Parents are notified of homework and project assignments
  • Parent-Teacher-Student Communication: system of communication between parents and teacher or school representative (notebook for weekly progress report, regular emails, or phone calls)
  • Write out homework assignments, check student’s recording of assignments 
  • Set time expectations for assignments (also can establish intermediate due dates with check-ins for progress)
  • Tailor homework assignments toward student strengths 
  • Schedule before or after school tutoring/homework assistance
  • Modify the amount of homework- ‘grade for mastery’

Accommodations for the classroom

  • Specialized equipment and materials (ex: amplification, Braille, large print, assistive technology)
  • Scheduling changes (extra time, more frequent breaks)
  • Make separate “space” for different types of tasks 
  • Provide a written or picture schedule Organizational Strategies
  • Model and reinforce organizational systems (i.e. color-coding) 
  • Provide clues such as clock faces indicating beginning and ending times 
  • Teach study/organizational skills (often occurs in private group with school counselor facilitator)
  • Tape lessons so the student can listen to them again; allow students to tape lessons
  • Use computer-aided instruction and other audiovisual equipment 
  • Ask student to repeat/paraphrase context to check understanding 
  • Arrange for a mentor to work with student in their interest area or area of greatest strength 
  • Provide peer tutoring 
  • Simplify and repeat instructions about in-class and homework assignments  
  • Select alternative textbooks, workbooks, or provide books on tape 
  • Introduce definition of new terms/vocabulary and review to check for understanding
  • Be aware of student’s preferred learning style and provide matching instruction materials 
  • Pre-teach and/or re-teach important concepts 
  • Prepare advanced organizers/study guides for new material 
  • Reinforce study skill strategies (survey, read, recite, review)

Accommodations for the school building

  • Possible adapting of non-academic times such as lunch, recess, and physical education 
  • Provide sensory breaks 
  • Facilities accessibility (more frequent restroom use, elevator pass) 
  • Alter location or personal or classroom supplies for easier access or to minimize distraction
  • Extra supervision and staff support on the playground
  • Lunchroom accommodations such as allergy free food options
  • Health plan may include separate art materials or physical education supplies that have not been handled by students who eat peanuts or other major allergens
  • Allergy free tables in the lunchroom (or restricted foods for entire lunchroom)
  • Staff to wipe down playground equipment to avoid contact with certain allergens

Accommodations for test taking and grading

  • Changes in setting for assessments (small group)*
  • Changes in student response requirements (marks answers in test book, scribe)*
  • Reinforce the use of compensatory strategies, i.e. pencil grip, mnemonic devices, “spell check” 
  • Highlight main ideas and supporting details in the book 
  • Provide copied material for extra practice (i.e. outlines, study guides) 
  • Break assignments into a series of smaller assignments *
  • Allow use of keyboard or computer for written assignments *
  • Provide tests in segments so that student hands in one segment before receiving the next part *
  • Prioritize drill and practice activities for relevance 
  • Use highlighted texts Evaluation Methods
  • Limit amount of material presented on a single page *
  • Provide a sample or practice test 
  • Provide for oral testing *
  • Presentation Options: Vary the method of lesson presentation using multi-sensory techniques: a) lecture plus overhead/board demonstration support b) small groups required to produce a written product c) large groups required to demonstrate a process d) computer-assisted instruction e) peer tutors or cross-age tutors f) demonstrations, simulations g) experiments h) games

Great job taking this step in reviewing potential accommodations for your child! Want to learn more? At Cadey, we are pioneering new ground in child psychology. Start at app.cadey.co to take a free assessment to better understand your child’s needs. To get started on interventions that can improve your family’s life today, go to courses.cadey.co. Your efforts are your child’s best opportunity for a great outcome!