If you have questions about 504's at the Henry Ford Academy contact John Clay, 504 Coordinator –
Ph# 313-982-6200 Ext. 2913

A 504 plan, which falls under civil-rights law, is an attempt to remove barriers and allow students with disabilities to participate freely.
 It seeks to level the playing field so that those students can safely pursue the same opportunities as everyone else. A student has a disability under Section 504 if a major life activity is substantially limited  by his or her impairment.
This determination is made on a case-by-case basis.

Learning is just one of a number of major life activities that should be considered in determining whether a student has a disability.  The school must consider how an impairment affects any major life activity of the student and, if necessary, must assess what is needed to ensure that student's equal opportunity to participate in the school program. The list of major life activities now includes, but is not limited to:

  • caring for oneself
  • performing manual tasks
  • seeing
  • hearing
  • eating
  • sleeping
  • walking
  • standing
  • lifting
  • bending
  • speaking
  • breathing
  • learning
  • reading
  • concentrating
  • thinking
  • communicating
  • working

The list of major bodily functions that are now considered major life activities includes, but is not limited to: functions of the immune system, normal cell growth, and digestive, bowel, bladder, neurological, brain, respiratory, circulatory, endocrine, and reproductive functions. 

How a 504 plan differs from a Special Education IEP
An IEP, which falls under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, is much more concerned with actually providing educational services. Students eligible for an IEP,or Individualized Education Plan, represent a small subset of all students with disabilities. They generally require more than a level playing field -- they require significant remediation and assistance, and are more likely to work on their own level at their own pace even in an inclusive classroom. Only certain classifications of disability are eligible for an IEP, and students who do not meet those classifications but still require some assistance to be able to participate fully in school would be candidates for a 504 plan.