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What About 504 Plans?

504 plans are commonly provided to students with ADHD and—at least in Texas—to large numbers of students with dyslexia^.31 But unlike IDEA, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act does not require school teams to develop transition plans for every student with a qualifying disability, nor does it require parental involvement.

Too often, students with a 504 plan^ leave high school without formal transition planning or self-advocacy skills. Help in these areas may be particularly important for students with ADHD, which affects executive functioning and time-management skills that are vital for success in college or the workplace. Stigma may also make students with ADHD less likely to ask for help.

It’s important and possible to provide transition planning to students with 504 plans as well as to students with IEPs. Schools should help all students with disabilities—but especially those with learning disabilities and ADHD—develop self-advocacy skills and build independence.

In January 2017, the U.S. Department of Education published a comprehensive guide to help students with disabilities transition to postsecondary education and employment. The guide offers many resources and includes a full discussion of such topics as education and employment goals, vocational rehabilitation, rights and responsibilities, and financing.32

3. Changes in high-stakes testing may increase college and workforce opportunities for students with disabilities.