Review of The Laws: Section 504 and the IDEA

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
According to this law, parents of qualifying children have the right to develop a Section 504 plan with their child’s school. To qualify for protection under Section 504, a child must have a record of such impairment, or be regarded as having such impairment. Schools can lose federal funding if they do not comply with this law. Parents can use these laws to ensure that, while at school, their children with diabetes can fully participate in all school activities, while at the same time caring for their medical needs. This means that the school cannot refuse to allow a child to be on the honor roll, deny credit to a student whose absenteeism is related to diabetes, refuse to administer medication (a school cannot require parents to waive liability as a condition of giving medicine), and determine sports/extracurricular participation without regard to the student’s diabetes. Any school that receives Federal funding must comply with IDEA and Section 504 laws. A child need not require special education to be protected.

The Americans with Disabilities Act
This law prohibits all schools and day care centers, except those run by religious organizations, from discriminating against children with disabilities, including diabetes. Protection under is this law is the same as that for Section 504.

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)
IDEA mandates the federal government to provides funding to education agencies, state and local, to provide free and appropriate education to qualifying students with disabilities. This includes children who have diabetes. As with the other two laws you must show that diabetes can, at times, adversely affect educational performance. The school is then required to develop an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) to accommodate your child’s needs.

Sample 504 Plans and IEPs From Our Readers

These sample 504 plans and IEPs are arranged by grade. Each is stored in Microsoft Word or PDF format. You are free to use these for your child or children.

Grade Sample 504 Plans
(Age and Insulin Regimen)
Plans from Outside the US
Pre-Kindergarten Age 4, Injections
Age 5, Injections
Kindergarten Age 5, Insulin Pump
Age 5, Insulin Pump
Age 5, Injections
Age 6, Injections
Age 6, Injections
Age 6, Injections
Age 6, Insulin Pump
Grade 1 Age 6, Insulin Pump
Age 6, Insulin pump and sensor
Age 6, Injections
Grade 2 Age 7, Insulin Pump
Grade 3 Age 8, Injections
Age 8, Injections
Grade 4 Age 9, Insulin Pump
Age 10, Insulin Pump
Age 9, Injections
Grade 5
Grade 6 Canada – Age 10, Insulin Pump
Grade 7 Age 12, Insulin Pump
Age 12, Insulin Pump
(Teacher Handout)
Canada – Age 12, Insulin Pump
Grade 8 Age 13, Injections
Age 13, Injections
Age 13, Insulin Pump
Grade 9
Grade 10 Age 15, Insulin Pump
Age 16, Insulin Pump
Grade 11 Age 16, Insulin Pump
Grade 12 Age 17, Insulin Pump
College Entrance Exams SAT Letter
Collection of letters for
SAT and ACT accommodations

(PDF and Word)

How To Share Your 504 Plan or IEP

To share your 504 Plan or IEP with other parents, please send an e-mail to info@childrenwithdiabetes.com. Include the child’s age, age at diagnosis, insulin regimen (MDI-syringe, MDI-pen, pump, etc.), state, and optionally the school district. Include the 504 Plan or IEP as a Microsoft Word document attachment.

Note for High School and Junior High School Students

High school and junior high students with diabetes can get special accommodations when taking standardized tests (e.g., PSAT, SAT, and ACT). These accommodations typically include “stop the clock” breaks for blood glucose testing, bathroom visits, or taking emergency glucose to treat low blood sugars. Diabetes is typically not a reason for additional time in taking a test, however. Testing organizations may require that students have a 504 plan on file before providing the accommodations. Parents and students are strongly encouraged to discuss this with guidance counselors at the beginning of each school year.

Presentations about Diabetes at School


Keeping Kids with Diabetes Safe at School by Crystal Jackson (Power Point file)
From the Friends for Life 2014 conference

Additional Resources