Does ADHD qualify you for a 504?

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by a consistent pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity that interferes with functioning or development. It affects millions of children and often continues into adulthood. Students struggling with ADHD may face significant challenges in a traditional educational environment, which can impede their academic performance and social interactions.

Under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Section 504 is a federal law designed to protect the rights of individuals with disabilities in programs and activities that receive federal financial assistance, including public schools. A 504 Plan is a blueprint for how the school will provide support and remove barriers for a student with a disability, like ADHD.

A diagnosis of ADHD does qualify a student for an evaluation to determine eligibility for a 504 Plan. However, not all students with ADHD will need a 504 Plan. To be eligible, the ADHD must significantly limit one or more basic life activities, such as learning. The evaluation process involves gathering information from various sources, including parents, teachers, and medical professionals.

If the evaluation concludes that the student’s ADHD substantially limits their learning or another major life activity, they are eligible for accommodations under a 504 Plan. The plan might include adaptations such as preferred seating, extended time on tests and assignments, reduced homework or classwork, verbal testing, breaks during class, or the help of a note-taker.

The goal of the 504 Plan is to level the playing field so that students with disabilities have access to the same educational opportunities as their peers. Therefore, if a student’s ADHD impairs their ability to perform successfully in school, they may indeed be entitled to protections and accommodations through a 504 Plan according to their individual needs.