What is a 504 Plan?


What is a 504 Plan?

A 504 Plan ensures that no student with any sort of disability is discriminated against, and is given the same education as every other student, all the while being provided a safe space to manage their condition as needed during school. It was established by section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, a civil rights law of the USA.

To which kind of schools does the 504 plan apply?

The plan applies to all public schools as well as private schools that receive federal funding.

Can all children with Type 1 apply?

According to Section 504, any child with diabetes will qualify. However, every child will undergo an individual assessment.

How will my child benefit from the 504 plan?

The 504 Plan will allow for every child with type 1 to participate in school normally without ever being excluded from any activity, with the support of teachers, the school’s medical team and the child’s doctor. The student’s doctor will outline a specific diabetes management plan for the school to be followed during school hours. In short, the 504 Plan makes certain that everyone is on the same page in order to provide the safest and most enjoyable experience possible throughout your child’s education!

What are typical accommodations of a 504 plan?

  • Providing access to food, water and a bathroom whenever necessary
  • Ability to test blood sugar and treat at any time and place
  • Training personnel to assist your child with care, including blood glucose monitoring and the administration of insulin and glucagon (nasal and injectable) *see Diabetes Medical Management Plan
  • Allowing extra absences to accommodate doctors’ visits and sick days
  • Providing needed assistance to and from classroom
  • Allowing full participation in extracurricular activities, sports and field trips, all with necessary type 1 diabetes (T1D) assistance provided
  • Permitting access to all diabetes management technology at all times such as CGM, pump, watch, or smart phone
  • Disaster planning—in case of an emergency (e.g. fire drill, tornado drill, lock down, etc.)

Download a sample in English or Spanish.
Read up on the USA’s legal rights of students with T1D here.

What is a Diabetes Medical Management Plan (DMMP)?

A Diabetes Medical Management Plan (DMMP) details how to care for your child with type 1 diabetes. This should be included in your 504 Plan and given to all staff in contact with your child, including school nurse.

Key items to include in this document:

  • How often blood sugar is checked
  • What target blood sugar ranges are
  • Any meal routines, low snack options and locations of low boxes
  • How to treat hypo- and hyperglycemia
  • How to manage blood sugar during physical activity
  • How to operate any diabetes management technology your child uses such as CGM, pump, watch, smart phone

What steps do I need to take to apply?

  • Ask your child’s doctor to come up with a comprehensive Diabetes Medical Management Plan (DMMP.) This will include things such as target blood sugar levels, insulin-to-carb ratios, pump settings or long acting insulin regimens and symptoms of hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia. Essentially, it is an outline of treatment that the school can then carry out. Download a sample DMMP here.
  • Discuss the DMMP with the school’s nurse.
  • Approach your child’s school principal to facilitate setting up a 504 plan.
  • From there, the school will determine the student’s eligibility and then coordinate the setup of your child’s plan.

This educational content on Back to School 2021 is made possible with support from Lilly Diabetes (Baqsimi), an active partner of Beyond Type 1 at the time of publication. Editorial control rests solely on Beyond Type 1.

Living outside of the US? Visit our Individual Healthcare Plans for Children with Type 1 in School for the following countries: Canada, UK, New Zealand and Australia.

WRITTEN BY BT1 Editorial Team, POSTED 08/05/16, UPDATED 12/23/22

This piece was authored collaboratively by the Beyond Type 1 Editorial Team.