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April 5, 2008

School and Daycare

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Question from Mamaroneck, New Jersey, USA:

For a second year in a row, my son’s public middle school refuses to give him a 504 plan. The guidance counselor in charge said he doesn’t need one, only an individualized health plan. All other diabetic students have a 504, however, the other two students I know do have additional health and learning issues. Should I be satisfied with the individual health plan or does my son need a 504 plan? I am confused about what to say to the school.

Answer:

From: DTeam Staff

Please call the American Diabetes Association at 1-800-DIABETES for some specific help with your challenge.

An individualized health plan is not a substitute for a Section 504 Plan. The development and implementation of a 504 plan reflects a process by which a child is determined to be 504 eligible, therefore, entitled to services and related aids to meet the child’s needs as required by federal law. An individualized plan addresses medical needs, but usually does not provide how these needs to will be met. In addition, the IHP does not address needed academic and extracurricular modifications. Finally, a 504 plan is an agreement developed under federal law that requires the school to meet the needs of the eligible child as specified by the plan. The IHP does not create this legal obligation.

Please call ADA at the number above and also take a look at the ADA’s web page on School Discrimination, which contains a wealth of information and materials that you may want to share with your son’s guidance counselor so that she or he may gain an understanding of how and why children with diabetes have historically been determined to be 504 eligible.

CJ