504 plan question

Posted on: Mon, 10/25/2004 - 1:28pm
mamakat21894's picture
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Joined: 10/23/2004 - 09:00

I'm totally new to this sight. I've been reading alot of information. A 504 plan keeps coming up. Can anyone tell me what this is? I don't want to sound stupid, i just was wondering.

Posted on: Mon, 10/25/2004 - 2:19pm
California Mom's picture
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Joined: 07/14/2000 - 09:00

You're not stupid! I'm sure most of us had never heard of a 504 plan before we came here. I know I hadn't.
There are others here who could explain it [b]so[/b] much better than I. But I will try:
There is a part of the Americans with Disabilities Act called section 504. This section explains that it is illegal for a school to withhold any type of a child's public education due to a disability. This means that the child's rights are fully protected under federal law for a free and appropriate education.
So, parents can ask for any accodomations that they feel are necessary for their child to be safe at school and to fully participate in all educational activities. (The entire school day is actually considered part of the education; sometimes after school activities are also included.)
If do a search for the term "504 plan" you will get loads of information in terms of the type of plans other pa kids have, and the sucess (or not so much success) that folks have had working with their schools on this.
Good luck!!!
[img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] Miriam

Posted on: Mon, 10/25/2004 - 8:58pm
anonymous's picture
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Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

Correct me if I am wrong, somebody, but Section 504 is from the Rehab Act of 1973. ADA was enacted to grant the same rights to adults in the workplace.
A search on 504 should bring up a wealth of information, and [url="http://www.allergysupport.org"]www.allergysupport.org[/url] can provide you with information you are seeking. It's a fabulous website.

Posted on: Tue, 10/26/2004 - 2:18am
California Mom's picture
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Joined: 07/14/2000 - 09:00

ryan's mom - I'm sure you're right. I am fuzzy on the details - despite having read about it for so long, and having a 504 plan for my dd for the past four years!
Thanks for the help.
If nutternomore or Rhonda jump in; mamakat will quickly be brought up to speed by the experts.
[img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] Miriam

Posted on: Tue, 10/26/2004 - 2:19am
Nutternomore's picture
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Yes, Section 504 refers to the Rehab Act of 1973.
I would agree with the other comments made so far. I knew absolutely nothing about 504 plans, but started researching them here and at [url="http://www.allergysupport.org"]www.allergysupport.org[/url] (maintained by Rhonda - one of our esteemed PA.com members) a couple of years ago prior to DS entering kindergarten.
There is a lot to wade through, but once you digest it all, you'll find that the information on this subject provides a number of powerful tools/tactics to engage with your school/school district in order to put accommodations in place so that your child can safely attend school.
[This message has been edited by Nutternomore (edited October 26, 2004).]

Posted on: Tue, 11/02/2004 - 2:37pm
mamakat21894's picture
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Joined: 10/23/2004 - 09:00

thanks everyone i'm greatful. i'm going to read up on the subject. my older son who is nine goes to a school that doesn't have a clue. i'm going to gather as much info as i can, so by the time my 2 1/2 year old goes to school they'll be ready. they don't even have seperate tables for pa kids. another ironic thing is that the kindergarten lesson plan calls for a peanut project.

Posted on: Wed, 11/03/2004 - 8:08am
alwaysconfused's picture
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Joined: 10/30/2004 - 09:00

I had a meeting today regarding 504. It is unbelievable that I had to find out about it through another mother even though the school district knows about it and I had a meeting over the summer regarding James PA and all. But anyway, we are getting him an aide who will be in charge of him only when food is around. Lunchroom, snack times, etc. This aide will be responsible for making sure that noone in the area around him is eating PB&J, etc. and that all around him the desks are cleaned etc. if there is any PB&J in the classroom. Ask your principal or call the administration office and speak to director of pupil personnel. And, unlike me, please do not become a raving lunatic and scream at everyone because you know that they should have told you when you discussed PA allergy in the first place. All it got me was alot of stress and laryngitis. LOL.
But I did get my point across and I did let the shool district know that I am now in charge, not them.
Adele.

Posted on: Wed, 11/03/2004 - 11:29am
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This is what I decided based on the four years my dd has been in public school. We have a new principal now who herself has an epi, so everything is great. But for the first four years, before we had this principal, I decided that the principal`s concern is to retain staff. That is why, in my opinion, principals, etc. don`t want to volunteer that you can have a 504. I am definitely not justifying it; I think that is horrible. When I went to enroll dd in kindergarten in 2000, not only did they not tell me about the 504, they told me she could not go there because they did not have a full time nurse. I knew the law, ignored what they said, went to work, called the school nurse, who happened to be in that day, and said "Hi, I talked to you a few months ago when I was looking for an elementary school for my daughter, she will now be starting in September, she has an epi, do you want to meet, etc., etc." The school nurse was always my daughter`s advocate, and the principal never was. Why? Because she wanted to retain staff. What if the cafeteria workers quit over having to learn to use an epi? Not that that ever happened; it didn`t. But I truly believe that other than the nurse, basically the administration wants to keep things as easy for their staff as possible, sometimes at the child`s expense, and that is why they do not volunteer that you can get a 504 for your child. It is more work for them if your child has a 504, and it documents what must be done. Compared to say, verbally requesting a peanut free table. If a 504 says your child gets a peanut free table, it documents that you are legally bound to do it. If you verbally request it and it isn`t done, they can say you never requested it. If it is in a 504, then they can`t do that.
[This message has been edited by Carefulmom (edited November 03, 2004).]
[This message has been edited by Carefulmom (edited November 03, 2004).]

Posted on: Wed, 11/03/2004 - 3:14pm
Scrippsie's picture
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Joined: 11/20/2003 - 09:00

Can someone please point out to me where the law says PA individuals are legally disabled? I did not have a 504 plan in school and was unaware that PA is considered a disability.
Thank you

Posted on: Wed, 11/03/2004 - 4:02pm
Nutternomore's picture
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Joined: 08/02/2002 - 09:00

Scrippsie,
A key document that is often used to support accommodation efforts is this document from the US Dept. of Education, Office of Civil Rights (OCR).
[url="http://www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/docs/hq5269.html"]http://www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/docs/hq5269.html[/url]
You'll note the reference to allergies as an example of a "hidden" disability in the document.
Not sure if you're asking from a historical perspective, or for your current situation. I'd like to point out that you should be aware that how 504 accommodations are dealt with re: post-secondary education setting are different from a scenario involving an elementary or secondary school setting (details are available in the document I referenced)...
[This message has been edited by Nutternomore (edited November 04, 2004).]

Posted on: Thu, 11/04/2004 - 1:26am
alwaysconfused's picture
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Joined: 10/30/2004 - 09:00

I am so happy to have been able to "run into" moms who told be about 504. I was soo angry and was told by the principal that it was the doctors place to tell me. I can't even go there anymore because it will bring back my anger. Anyway, I understand about the whole they can say that you did not tell them or it wasn't clear, or whatever other hogwash they want to tell you when they mess up. You need to be diligent and keep them on their toes. And remember, our children are citizens of this country and they constitutional rights too. Adults seem to forget this, especially in the school systems.
Adele.

Posted on: Thu, 11/04/2004 - 7:23am
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Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

alwaysconfused,
Your school principal is kind of right that it must come from the doctor. The letter must be carefully worded to match the OCR document (of which there are several samples under the Schools board). Without this letter (and it should be fairly specific following RhondaRS's example), your child does not qualify. The peanut allergy needs to be classified as life-threatening, and that designation comes from a doctor.
Some doctors are either unaware or unwilling to do this.
For every very vigilant parent, there are at least 5 - 10 others that are much more lax. This really complicates things for school administrators. No other child with PA (to my knowledge) in Ryan's elementary school has a 504. And no parent insists on the same precautions. (Sigh...) Therefore, many administrators take their cue from the parents, IMO. Our principal just asked a parent of a PA (Kindergarten) child, "What do I need to do for your child?" The basic answer was nothing, really. Just to not eat peanuts and the usual, "He knows what he can and can't eat." So very frustrating, yet so commonplace.
[This message has been edited by ryan's mom (edited November 04, 2004).]

Posted on: Thu, 11/04/2004 - 8:31am
Carefulmom's picture
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Joined: 01/03/2002 - 09:00

Ryan`s mom, I encountered that too. In my dd`s school there are pa twins in the same grade. I have seen them at a birthday party without an epi---the mom said she knew they would only eat what they were supposed to, so according to her she did not need to have it with her. This made things really difficult for me to make my point in school about the dangers of various things. This year in fourth grade this is the first time one of them is in my daughter`s class. I know in first grade they were eating at the same table as kids with pb, and in class the teacher passed out any kind of candy to the other kids and the mom was fine with it---even without handwashing. It was really hard for me to be emphasizing how important hand washing is, when the other pa mom did not. I decided about two or three years ago to just tell the school my daughter is more severe. I know that may or may not be true, but it worked.
About a doctor requesting the 504, our school did not ask for a doctor`s note. I just told the nurse it was life-threatening, which I think she would have figured out anyhow if the child has an epi. I pretty much think if a doctor prescribes an epi, then the doctor considers it life threatening. Anyhow, they never asked for a doctor`s note for a 504, although of course they asked the doctor to fill out a form in order to have the epi at school.

Posted on: Thu, 11/04/2004 - 8:52am
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Joined: 09/15/2004 - 09:00

ryan's mom-so true about other PA parents not asking for the same precautions and 504. I am finding it very frustrating that there are several other PA children in my school district who have allowed the system to be very lax. I have already spoken to several school officials and know that I have a battle ahead of me (my son starts K next year).
I read some of the above mentioned documents, and am still wondering about the 504 vs. IDEA. My son can qualify for IDEA due to a hearing loss in one ear, but he needs very few accomidations for this, the food allergies require much more. I am wondering should I have both? Or since he qualifies for IDEA can we cover everything on that? Also wondering, can IDEA be referred to by another name? I have never heard it mentioned before and I taught school until having children 5 years ago.

Posted on: Thu, 11/04/2004 - 5:03pm
Nutternomore's picture
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Quote:Originally posted by JaneeseB:
[b]I read some of the above mentioned documents, and am still wondering about the 504 vs. IDEA. My son can qualify for IDEA due to a hearing loss in one ear, but he needs very few accomidations for this, the food allergies require much more. I am wondering should I have both? Or since he qualifies for IDEA can we cover everything on that? Also wondering, can IDEA be referred to by another name? I have never heard it mentioned before and I taught school until having children 5 years ago. [/b]
JaneeseB,
I believe that plans covered under the IDEA legislation are referred to as IEP's (Individualized Education Plans).
Check out this post, and you'll find some excellent information posted by RhondaRS on this topic.
[url="http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/Forum7/HTML/001477.html"]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/Forum7/HTML/001477.html[/url]

Posted on: Fri, 11/05/2004 - 2:58am
alwaysconfused's picture
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Joined: 10/30/2004 - 09:00

To all.
I also understand and feel the pain of other mothers who are not diligent. This is where my problem began. When the school told me that they do not have 504's for other PA children I said then shame on me and shame on them. I can not control what they do with their children only what I do with mine. And if they had an allergist like mine who did not really explain fully and make me understand the severity of this, I would also be like them. I have now spent countless hours doing my own research, stuff the allergist could have told me in five minutes. So, although I am also in disbleif of the laxity of some mothers, I can also understand it. Also, these mothers may not even know of 504. I didn't. I found out through another mother on Halloween. I have sworn that some way, some how I am going to petition this school district for a formal protocal and that they inform parents of all that their children may be entitled to. Many people do not realize that allergies come under 504. I didn't. I could go on and on but hopefully, we can all spread the word.
Thanks Adele.

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