Select Language: English | Spanish
Menu Close

(16.19) What are some health conditions that are typically covered by Section 504, and what accommodations are provided to a child with a health condition?

(16.19) What are some health conditions that are typically covered by Section 504, and what accommodations are provided to a child with a health condition?

A child with any health condition may qualify under Section 504 if the condition substantially limits her in a major life activity such as breathing, respiratory function, immune function, concentration,  caring for one’s self, or learning. [42 U.S.C. Sec. 12102(2)(B)-(4)(E).] Conditions such as diabetes, asthma, food allergy, environmental allergy (multiple chemical sensitivity), epilepsy, and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) are commonly covered by Section 504 when there is evidence that the condition limits the child’s ability to perform a major life activity as compared with other children of same age in the general population. [28 C.F.R. Sec. 35.108(d)(1)(v).] These conditions may also qualify a child for an IEP under the IDEA’s category of other health impairment (OHI). See Chapter 3, Information on Eligibility Criteria.

Once a child is eligible under Section 504, her school has an overarching obligation to ensure that she has an equal opportunity to receive the same benefits and participate in the same programs as her peers without disabilities on an equal basis. [34 C.F.R.Sec.104.4.] OCR has held that schools have an obligation under Section 504 to take steps to make school environments as safe for students with disabilities as they are for students without disabilities. [Washington (NC) Montessori Pub. Charter Sch., 60 IDELR 79 (OCR 2015).] Also, the school must ensure that students with disabilities are not excluded from a program, class or an extracurricular activity because of  their disability if appropriate and reasonable accommodations addressing their disability needs can be implemented to ensure their safe and effective participation. [Bethlehem (NY) Cent. Sch. Dist.,52 IDELR 69 (OCR 2009); Donegal (VA) Sch Dist., 66 IDELR 231 (OCR 2015).]

In addition to its duty to prevent discrimination on the basis of disability, districts, through evaluations, must make an individualized determination of the impact of the health condition on the child and identify specific accommodations and services in her 504 plan that will ensure her receipt of a FAPE as well as her equal participation in district programs and activities. [34 C.F.R. Sec. 104.35.] The following accommodations have been found appropriate and reasonable for some of the health conditions covered under Section 504.

Diabetes

  1. Administering insulin when student is unable to self-inject. [Duval County (FL) Pub. Schs., 113 LRP 27887 (OCR 04/19/13).];
  2. Administering insulin and glucagon, and calculating ketones on field trips.[Clayton County (GA) Sch. Dist., 52 NDLR 170 (OCR 2015).];
  3. Developing nutritional information for school lunches), [Rudyard (MI) Area Schs.,115 LRP 10469 (OCR 10/19/14).];
  4. Installing insulin pod refills for an insulin pump), [Prince William County (VA) Pub. Schs., 69 IDELR 168 (OCR 2016).];
  5. Administering insulin and providing snacks on the school bus, [Bryan County (GA) Schs., 69 IDELR 43 (OCR 2016.]

Asthma

  1. Assisting with the use of inhalers and administering medication, [Pueblo (CO) Sch. Dist. 60, 60 IDELR 25 (OCR 2012).];
  2. Providing transportation to school. [ Montgomery County (AL) Pub. Schs., 68 IDELR 282 (OCR 2016).;
  3. Developing a safety emergency plan and informing all school staff of the steps to take under the plan. [Encinita (CA) Union Sch. Dist., 114 LRP 23545 (OCR  01/29/14).] ;
  4. Letting student administer an epinephrine auto-injector pen; [Franklin County (TN) Pub. Schs., 52 IDELR 143 (OCR 2009).] ;
  5. Prohibiting presence of substances such as peanuts and peanut products from classes. [South Windsor (CT) Pub. Schs., 49 IDELR 107 (OCR 2007).];
  6. Installing hand-wash stations outside class. [Encinitas (CA) Union Schs. Dist., 114 LRP 23545, (OCR 01/29/14).]; 
  7. Apprising cafeteria staff of food restrictions. [Henry County (MO) R-I Sch. Dist.,52 IDELR 233 (OCR 2009).];

Food Allergies. 

  1. Developing a safety emergency plan and informing all school staff of the steps to take under the plan. [Encinita (CA) Union Sch. Dist., 114 LRP 23545 (OCR  01/29/14).] ;
  2. Letting student administer an epinephrine auto-injector pen; [Franklin County (TN) Pub. Schs., 52 IDELR 143 (OCR 2009).] ;
  3. Prohibiting presence of substances such as peanuts and peanut products from classes. [South Windsor (CT) Pub. Schs., 49 IDELR 107 (OCR 2007).];
  4. Installing hand-wash stations outside class. [Encinitas (CA) Union Schs. Dist., 114 LRP 23545, (OCR 01/29/14).]; 
  5. Apprising cafeteria staff of food restrictions. [Henry County (MO) R-I Sch. Dist.,52 IDELR 233 (OCR 2009).];

Environmental Allergies (Multiple Chemical Sensitivity)

  1. Monitoring by qualified nurse;
  2. Developing protocol ensuring oxygen availability;
  3. Carrying out emergency protocol.
    [Stafford County (VA) Pub. Schs., 70 IDELR 164 (OCR 2017).]

Epilepsy

  1. Providing aide with medical training to address seizure episodes.[Yakima (WA) Sch. Dist. No. 7, 64 IDELR 53 (OCR 2014).]

Hirschsprung’s Disease

  1. Assisting with use of colostomy bags.
    [Alachua County (FL) Sch. Dist., 52 IDELR 204 (OCR 2009).]

Tube Feeding

  1. Providing tube feeding in the classroom.
    [Huntsville (AL) City Schs., 73 IDELR 270 (OCR 2018).]

ADD/ADHD

  1. Administering medication during school day.
    [Letter to Mentink, 19 IDELR 1127 (OCR 1993).]