SAFETY AT SCHOOL
WHAT IS A 504 PLAN?
A 504 plan ensures equal access and opportunity for students with disabilities under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. This federal law prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in any public or private school program or activity that receives federal funding.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?
This means that children with type 1 diabetes are entitled to reasonable accommodations and modifications to ensure that they have the same opportunities as their peers to participate in school activities and receive an education. It also ensures that a child with type 1 diabetes is provided a safe space to manage their condition as needed during school
Some of the accommodations listed in a 504 plan may include:
- Providing access to food, water, and a bathroom whenever necessary
- Ability to test blood sugar and treat at any time and place
- Training personnel to assist your child with care, including blood glucose monitoring and the administration of insulin and glucagon (nasal and injectable) *See Diabetes Medical Management Plan
- Allowing extra absences to accommodate doctors’ visits and sick days
- Providing needed assistance to and from classroom
- Allowing full participation in extracurricular activities, sports and field trips, all with necessary type 1 diabetes (T1D) assistance provided
- Permitting access to all diabetes management technology at all times such as CGM, pump, watch, or smart phone
- Disaster planning—in case of an emergency (e.g. fire drill, tornado drill, lock down, etc.)
According to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act., any child with diabetes will qualify. However, every child will undergo an individual assessment.
DIABETES MEDICAL MANAGEMENT PLAN (DMMP)
A Diabetes Medical Management Plan (DMMP) is a critical tool for developing a comprehensive 504 plan for a child with type 1 diabetes. The DMMP is prepared by the child’s healthcare provider and outlines the specific diabetes care and management tasks that are necessary for the child to participate fully in school activities. The DMMP may include:
- How often blood sugar is checked
- What target blood sugar ranges are
- Any meal routines, low snack options and locations of low boxes
- How to treat hypo- and hyperglycemia
- How to manage blood sugar during physical activity
- How to operate any diabetes management technology your child uses such as CGM, pump, watch, smart phone
Your health care provider role in preparing a DMMP is crucial. The healthcare provider should work closely with the child and their family to understand their unique diabetes management needs and preferences. The provider will use this information to create a detailed DMMP that outlines the specific tasks necessary for the child to manage their diabetes while in school. The DMMP is then shared with the child’s school team, who will use it to create a comprehensive 504 plan that meets the child’s needs.