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Jeff:  Can a student receive special transportation in a 504 Plan?

  1. My son has a 504 for type 1 diabetes. We live in a new development that does not have sidewalks to the bus stop. In the 504 it states that his pick up and drop off is at the driveway in case of a low he will not be walking down the street. He is in 3rd grade. The bus driver just told me that since he does not always ride the bus in the morning that I will need to call the bus garage in the morning on the days he rides, otherwise he will need to walk down the street to the group pick up location.

    She drives past pur home to go to the froup stop, nothing isnoutbof her way. She has been very non accomating since day one. Does she have authority to make this call and require us to call even though it is stated in his 504 that pick up and drop off is at pur home?

  2. Good Morning, My son has an in school IEP. Recently he broke his ankle and is now required to be on a wheelchair. Its for 6 weeks in a nonweight bearing cast. I requested help from the school as he relies on the school bus to get to school. Initially they told me he needed to be dropped off by me and there were no options through the school. After I called back they said that they could help because he had an IEP. However, It’s been two days and there is no response from them. How can I make sure they follow through with this?

  3. Hello,

    My daughter has a 504 plan with in class accommodations for her DMDD, ADHD-Combined, and SPD. It was not brought to my attention that she could possibly have accommodations regarding transportation until recently.

    Also recently(within 5 months) there have been many instances in which the bus driver has failed to wait for the children at my daughters stop to all bee safely seated before driving away. This causes my daughter to easily be thrown off balance, and has even at times completely ruined her mood for the day causing breakdowns/meltdowns.

    Would it be possible to request the accommodation of waiting for her to be fully seated before the bus begins moving? Or would that be unreasonable?

    Keep in mind I did my homework and yes it is illegal for the bus to begin motion while the students are not safely sitting down. Ohio Code 3301-83-08
    Section C-4

    • You can of course request this accommodation, but this is really a situation of a driver following the law. I suggest going to the administrator above the transportation director.

  4. Hi my son got diagnosed with ADHD and is on the 504 plan with the school the only accommodation we need help with other than the ones they already give him is transportation to and from school we live within a mile of the school but need help getting him to school his mother and I both work early in the morning and and school won’t help us what can we do

    • Andrew, under 504 the school only has to provide accommodations, & not discriminate against a student because of their disability. If transportation is not provided to “regular” students in your area, they are not required to provide it to students under 504. You can still try to work with the district, community agencies, & organizations to try to find a solution.

      • What if you child changes schools due to their disability, in this case anxiety and PTSD and was being verbally bulled at one school? In our case, the district is denying us transportation to school B, stating FAPE and legally they only need to provide transportation to school A.

      • My son is Nonverbal and autistic. His school does not offer any transportation to students. I live in Atlantic County, NJ.

        Do you know of any community agencies and organizations I can contact?

        I am disabled, and can not drive and his mother works, so we struggle every day with getting him to and from school. We are solely relying on friends and family members who are willing to drive me to pick him up.

  5. Hi, my daughter is in H.S has a 504 plan and has extended time for tests, assignments and such. Her twin brother has autism and qualifies transportation on the small bus. However, the school states that since my daughter does very well academically she doesn’t qualify for the small bus so she needs to ride the regular school bus. I provided the school with a letter from their neurodevelopmental pediatrician explaining the reasons my kids should be on the same bus together. My daughter has sensory processing, ADHD, social anxiety, general anxiety and auditory processing disorder and the regular bus would be extremely over for her. Can get her in the same bus as her twin brother? Why can’t both be picked up if they will be coming to get my son? They said only IEP student get small bussing.

  6. If a kindergarte child who regularly rides a general education school bus breaks they’re leg is in a cast from mid thigh to toes (not a walking cast none weight bearing) can they qualify for a 504 to ride on a special needs bus?

  7. Mask mandate – student has a 504 medical reason to not wear a mask. Does this apply to transportation also?

  8. A student on a 504 plan is living in a foster hame and has been placed in an alternative school that is not in district that the student is currently living in. Is the district where the student is currently living required to provide transportation to the alternative school?

  9. Does anyone know where in the regulations is the example of service that says transportation may be provided?

    • Unless a state has a regulation on this, it comes down to the school, parent,, state social agencies, & others coming together to resolve the situation. I would start with a social services agency. The state parent training & information project may be able to point you in the right direction.

    • If transportation is written in his IEP in order for him to get FAPE then special education must provide it. Plenty of children who are not in wheelchairs (but have cognitive or behavioral difficulties or are not at their home school for example) require special education transportation.

  10. Good morning my son is on the 504 plan and there giving me hard time with transportation. The school is elementary. He’s in 1st grade and I can’t keep missing work I have bills I don’t get hand outs.

  11. I have a child with a 504 plan in place and has now been thrown off of the school bus due to not being able to comply with their standards. Is he entitled to transportation?

  12. My child has an IEP and recently had it put in she needs “curb to curb service” but transportation is fighting me on coming to the house to pick her up. I’m at a loss as to what needs to be done, the school says they’ve turned in the necessary paperwork but transportation won’t do it.

  13. Do children with IEP’s have to be picked up and dropped off at their home? There is also a bus aide on his bus. He is in elementary school.

  14. my child has nothing wrong with her but someone told me she could get the bus under the 504 plan. School says if u live 1.5 miles away u can get bus, we are 1.4 miles away. im just trying to figure how I can get her on that bus. She did have asthma when younger, do ya think I can just use a dr note for asthma? I don’t think shes qualified under 504 plan since it looks like these kids have some major problems under that this 504 plan.

  15. My daughter’s 504 plan says she receives extended time on assessments. She is in 9th grade and next week is her first set of mid-term exams. I just found out that exams are over at 11 am and students who do not receive extended time, will have their regular bus transportation home if they are eligible for busing (i.e. live more than 2 miles from the school.) However, her counselor says that if you get extended time on an exam, you have to provide your own transportation home. My husband and I work full time and cannot get her. Is that legal?

    Thank you.


    • I am not sure if under 504 this is or is not legal, but it is inappropriate to not provide a needed, & approved accommodation. I suggest contacting the district 504 coordinator..

    • Under 504, a student with a disability must have the same access to transportation as a similarly situated student without a disability.

    • My understanding is that if she’s receiving extra time as a result of her 504 accommodations, then they have to also accommodate her transportation home just like they are for the students that don’t have accommodations. I would send an email or a printed letter requesting a 504-plan review to discuss why she’s not being given transportation accommodations for an accommodation in her 505-plan. EVERYTHING HAS to be requested/done in writing AND in a meeting! Otherwise it is not part of her 504 Plan and they dont “have” to do it.

  16. I am advocating for a family whose child became wheelchair-dependant last week. This will likely continue for many months. The child already receives transportation under her IEP. The parents provided the school with a physician’s letter explaining that the child needs to use her wheelchair in school and that she needs access to the school elevators. It did not mention wheelchair accessible transportation. The district refuses to provide the transportation for this reason. The doctor will not be available to provide another note for several weeks, so the child is missing classes in the meantime. Must the family provide more documentation or can we argue that the district has enough information to be on notice of the student’s need for accessible transportation?

    • Audrey, the comments by Jill G and Chuck apply in this child’s situation except that your client already receives transportation under an IEP. The child’s needs have changed so she needs wheelchair accessible transportation. This transportation is needed for her to attend school and receive a FAPE.

      The parent needs to write a letter to the team. Describe the child’s changed needs and request an IEP meeting to amend the IEP to include wheelchair accessible transportation that is needed to meet these needs.

      • What about a student who has Spina Bifida so is in a wheelchair, is on a 504 Plan (not an IEP) and who lives within walking distance of the school. Would the district be required to provide special transportation under Section 504?

  17. Jeff –

    Yes, a student can *potentially* receive transportation via a 504 Plan. In fact, transportation is specifically listed in the Section 504 regulations as an example of a service that may be provided to students.

    As I’m sure you know, Section 504 requires schools to provide qualified students with disabilities a free appropriate public education. This means a school must provide the student with the supports and services he/she needs to allow him/her equal access to education – unless such aids would substantially alter the nature of the program or create an undue financial burden

    What specific supports and services a student needs is an individual determination that is based on his/her needs. This determination is made by the student’s 504 Team.

    So in order to receive transportation as part of the 504 Plan the student’s 504 Team would need to determine it is necessary for the student to access education, and the school would need to decide that it doesn’t substantially alter the program or create a financial burden.

    Most schools already provide some sort of transportation, so its unlikely to substantially alter the program and only likely to be a financial burden in smaller districts. That generally leaves the necessity of it as the major hurdle to get over.

    • My Grandson was expelled and has been at home for several months, he has a 504 he is 9 years old. The school district wants him to come back at half day next week but my son has no way to get him from school daily, does the district have to transport since they want him to leave before the bus leaves at the end of the school day?

    • This information was very helpful. My 504 plan child is just starting his Senor year of High School. We live about 18 miles away from school. The previous year, the school provided a bus that us parents had top pay $200 each for student to ride. This year they took all general education buses away due to lack of drivers, but still have a Special Education bus that picks up by our house.
      Ive contacted the the school and they just keep telling me that they cant help me. My son can be reavaluated for his disabilities and qualify for an IEP if needed. Should i just push towards getting another accessment done for his learning disabilities? I can not provide the cost or transportation every day to and from school, and home schooling is the only other option and my kid needs the social interactions.

      Thanks in advance
      Paso Robles, CA

      • It seems like having him under special education services would be helpful since you would not have to pay for transportation, & you and your son would have more rights for appropriate services,

  18. I am not aware of anything that says this cannot be done. I doubt that many districts would provide it, since they get no 504 funding. Making this request in writing puts your concerns on the record.

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