School Accommodation - How it Can Affect You!
School accommodations…Learn more about the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504) and how it affects you!
Written by Sneha, age 18- Crohn's and Colitis Young Adults Network
If you have Crohn’s or colitis and it limits your abilities even in the slightest, then you qualify for a 504 plan, which will allow you to receive accommodations you may need in the future. Chances are your parents have already established a 504 plan for you, but if they have not; ask them to look into this website: http://www.crohnscolitisfoundation.org/resources/template-section-504-plan.html
Assuming you have one already in place, have you read through it? That is a first step to a successful school year!
Prepare to have a meeting with a school official, but first talk over the points with your parents so you will be able to smoothly discuss during your school meeting.
Next, if you have already read and understood what your accommodations are, then make sure ALL of your teachers are aware that you have a plan and the main accommodations that you will need. In my experience, teachers do not always read through this important documentation, so it is best if you go up to them after class and explain what you need and what your diagnosis is as soon as possible. If you are able to communicate with your teachers before school is even in session, then it will make the situation a lot easier so that you may not have to talk in front of other students or feel embarrassed if you need an accommodation that your teacher does not know about.
What else do you need? If you have something that you feel you need to add then by all means tell your parents! They will communicate with the specified school staff to make this change. The 504 is NOT permanent and can be changed anytime throughout the year as needed.
Know that what is on your 504 is YOUR right. By law, public schools are required to give you approved accommodations and so be aware of what you have and always speak up if something needs to be changed.