504 Plan for Students With Dyslexia

504 Plan for Students With Dyslexia
Dr. Roseann Capanna-Hodge

Dr. Roseann Capanna-Hodge

As a specific learning disability that affects reading and writing, dyslexia can have a significant impact on a student's ability to learn and succeed in the classroom. 

Fortunately, students with dyslexia are entitled to receive accommodations and services under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Students with dyslexia are also entitled to direct remediation services if they qualify for an IEP for dyslexia. 

It is important for parents of children with reading issues or a reading disability to understand how accommodations can help their child. Whether your child has or needs a 504 plan or special education services through an IEP, they are entitled to accommodations if their disability substantially impacts them. 

There is a lot a parent can do to support their dyslexic child but working with their school to get the right accommodations in place can give your child the right assistance they need to be successful.

In this blog you will learn about:

What a 504 plan is?

How a 504 applies to dyslexic students

What accommodations and services may be included in a 504 plan to help students with dyslexia.

504 plan

How Dyslexia Affects Students in the Classroom

Dyslexia is a highly genetic, neurological condition that affects a student's ability to process the smallest sounds of language, phonemes.  It impacts one’s ability to both encode and decode, as well as process and comprehend written language. This can impact a student's performance across all content areas, including reading, writing, and even math. 

How Dyslexia Affects Students in the Classroom

Students with dyslexia are frequently misdiagnosed with ADHD due to issues with executive functioning. These issues impact their learning in a multitude of ways but when a dyslexic brain also has issues with executive functioning then task completion and “brain overload” are common. 

Dyslexic students struggle with decoding words, recognizing common sight words, and understanding complex sentences. This can make it difficult for them to keep up with grade level texts and complete written assignments. In addition, dyslexia often impacts a student's ability to express their thoughts and ideas in writing, which can be frustrating and discouraging.

Your child may need services and accommodations to support their dyslexia. 

What is Section 504?

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is a federal law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in programs and activities that receive federal financial assistance. Under Section 504, individuals with disabilities are entitled to equal access to programs and activities, including education. 

This means that schools are required to provide accommodations and services to ensure that students with disabilities have the same opportunities to succeed as their non-disabled peers. A 504 Plan is all about leveling the playing field so that students with Dyslexia can demonstrate their capabilities. 

What is an Accommodation?

An accommodation is a change or adjustment to a policy, practice, or environment that enables an individual with a disability to participate in an activity or program.  They can vary greatly from student to student because accommodations are designed to meet the individual needs of the student. They may include changes to the curriculum, environment, or methods of instruction. 

Accommodations are designed to help your child participate in classroom activities and programs on an equal basis with their non-disabled peers. These accommodations do not change the essential nature of the activity or program, but rather provide your child with the support they need to fully participate and succeed.

How Section 504 Applies To Dyslexic Students

Dyslexia is considered a specific learning disability under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Section 504. This means that students with dyslexia are entitled to receive accommodations and services under both laws. 

However, while IDEA requires schools to provide special education services to eligible students, Section 504 requires schools to provide reasonable accommodations to ensure equal access to programs and activities. Under an IEP, a student can receive remediation support, individualized education, and their plan has goals and objectives. 

A 504 plan provides accommodations that support those common issues that students with dyslexia often face, spelling, executive functioning, memory and so on. There is a lot a teacher can do to support a dyslexic student in the regular education classroom. Whether under IDEA or 504, if there is a substantial impact of dyslexia on learning, then a student is entitled to accommodations at school. 

The Benefits of a 504 Plan for Dyslexic Students

A 504 plan is a helpful tool that can provide formal support for your child with dyslexia. Modifications for students with dyslexia can help level the playing field. Accommodations and modifications for students with dyslexia help dyslexic students be successful. 

And formal support is important when your child struggles with reading and auditory processing.  It outlines specific accommodations and services that your child will receive to ensure they have equal access to education. These accommodations may include extra time on tests, assistive technology, and specialized instruction in reading and writing. 

By having a 504 plan in place, all school personnel will be aware of your child's needs, so you don’t have to constantly remind school staff about what your child needs. With a plan, you can point to the plan and reconvene a meeting if the dyslexia accommodations and modifications aren't working. 

Grace was a middle school student with remediated dyslexia who could read and write above grade level thanks to a lot of hard work and her Wilson Reading Program. Her dyslexia still showed up in her spelling and affected her grades. Along with the school, we all agreed that she would benefit from a 504 Plan for her dyslexia. With her plan, she was no longer graded for her spelling. With this one accommodation, Grace became a straight “A” student. 

How to Get a 504 Plan for Your Child

There are multiple steps a parent must follow if you believe that your child may be eligible for a 504 plan. Here is how to prepare for a 504 meeting. 

  1. Contact your child's school and request an evaluation. You can do this by scheduling a meeting with the school's 504 coordinator or by sending a written request to the school principal.
  2. The school district is required to evaluate your child to determine if they have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, including learning. The evaluation may include assessments by school psychologists, special education teachers, and other professionals but may also be a record review or an analysis of your child’s regular education assessments. 
  3. If available, make sure to provide any outside documentation of your child’s dyslexia or symptoms. While documentation from professionals isn’t required, if you have it, get a simple letter listing your child’s specific issues and needs. 
  4. If the evaluation finds that your child is eligible for a 504 plan, a school team will work with you to develop a plan that meets your child's unique needs. The team may include the school's 504 coordinator, teachers, school psychologists, and other professionals.
  5. The plan will outline the accommodations and services that your child will receive to ensure equal access to education. This may include accommodations such as extended time on tests, the use of assistive technology, and specialized instruction in reading and writing. A dyslexia accommodations checklist can be helpful to determine needs. 
  6. Once the plan is developed, it will be reviewed and updated annually to ensure that it continues to meet your child's needs. You and your child will be involved in the review process, and you can request changes to the plan if necessary.

What May Be Included in 504 Plans for Students with Dyslexia?

Types of 504 Accommodations for Dyslexics

The accommodations and services that may be included in a 504 plan for a neurodivergent dyslexic student will depend on the student's individual needs and the recommendations of the school team. However, some common accommodations and services that may be included in a 504 plan for dyslexic students include:

Assistive Technology: Dyslexic students may benefit from the use of assistive technology such as text-to-speech software, speech recognition software, or audiobooks. These tools can help dyslexic students access written materials and complete assignments more easily. Modifications for dyslexia with the supportive technology has become increasingly easy with such great avialable options. Some technology may also be available for use at home too and should be part of your home dyslexia program.

Specialized Instruction: Dyslexic students may require specialized instruction in reading and writing in order to build the foundational skills necessary to succeed in these areas. This instruction may be provided by a reading specialist without an IEP and who can also assist with dyslexia modifications. However, dyslexia and IEP support are often needed to ensure proper remediation. 

Extended Time on Tests: Dyslexic students may require additional time to complete tests in order to process information and demonstrate their knowledge. This accommodation can help to reduce stress and ensure that the student has enough time to show what they know.

Reading and Writing Accommodations: Dyslexic students may require accommodations such as access to grade level texts in alternative formats, such as audiobooks or digital text, and the use of graphic organizers or other visual aids to help them organize their thoughts and ideas.

Attention, Executive Functioning, Learning and Memory Accommodations: Dyslexics often have executive functioning memory challenges that impact their ability to read and need accommodations that help to scaffold information. 

Common Accommodations and Services for Dyslexic Students in 504 Plans

While the accommodations and services listed above are commonly included in 504 plans for dyslexic students, it's important to remember that each plan should be tailored to meet the unique needs of the individual student. The school team responsible for developing the plan should consider factors such as the student's age, grade level, and content area needs when making recommendations.

In addition to the accommodations and services listed above, a 504 plan for a dyslexic student may also include related services such as counseling, occupational therapy, or speech therapy. These services can help to address any mental or physical impairments that may be impacting the student's ability to learn and succeed in the classroom.

I like to present a need and then ask the school, “What supports are available that could help?”  I am always surprised what regular education supports are available but that the student I am working with doesn’t have access to.

Accommodations for Dyslexics

Delivery of information:

  • Provide audio recordings of books and reading materials
  • Allow the use of text-to-speech technology
  • Provide pre-exposures of reading materials
  • Provide the student notice in advance of larger reading assignments


  • Allow the use of speech-to-text software
  • Allow students to verbally express themselves
  • Allow the use of a scribe
  • Allow the use of a keyboard for handwriting tasks


  • Assessments given in a small group setting
  • Assessments given away from distractions
  • Use of colored overlays to reduce glare on white paper
  • Use of highlighters to color-code assignments and assessments

Time and Schedule:

  • Provide extended time for tests and assignments
  • Allow additional breaks during assessments
  • Reduce the amount of homework


  • Provide the student with an outline of teacher’s direct instruction
  • Allow students to use graphic organizers or other visual aids
  • Allow the use of math manipulatives


  • Provide Orton Gillingham, Wilson, Lindamood Bell or some formal structured phonetic reading instruction
  • Provide an additional set of textbooks for use at home
  • Provide audio recordings of books
  • Use of text-to-speech technology
  • Provide access to grade level texts in alternative formats


  • Provide Orton Gillingham Instruction
  • Allow use of spelling devices
  • Do not grade handwritten assignments based on spelling errors
  • Reduce the number of spelling words for assessments


  • Allow speech-to-text software
  • Allow students to verbally express themselves
  • Allow the use of a scribe
  • Allow the use of a keyboard for handwriting tasks


  • Allow additional time to complete assignments
  • Reduce the amount of homework
  • Check for student understanding prior to assigning homework

A 504 plan can be an invaluable tool for dyslexic students who require accommodations and services to ensure equal access to education. By providing reasonable accommodations and services, schools can help dyslexic students succeed in the classroom and beyond. 

If you believe that your child may be eligible for a 504 plan, it's important to contact your child's school and request an evaluation. With the support of a 504 plan and a dedicated school team, dyslexic students can unlock their full potential and achieve academic success. 

Download The Ultimate Guide to School Accommodations to Become Your Child’s Best Advocate

➡️ Get the ultimate accommodations guide that has all of “the meat and none of the potatoes” with accommodations for more than 30 common issues and conditions
➡️ The exact accommodations you need for any school meeting or letter from a seasoned school psychologist and IEP and 504 meeting veteran
➡️Come prepared with the accommodations requests that actually can help your child at school


Grab my Ultimate Guide to 504 Accommodations to get detailed 504 accommodations for the biggest issues impacting dyslexics at school: attention, executive functioning, memory, anxiety, and more than 20 issues that impact learning, attention, and emotional functioning at school.

Improving the Dyslexic Brain Processing 

As bright and creative as the dyslexic brain is, a lack of automatic phonological and language processing can slow down learning.  There are things that a parent can do to improve processing aside from direct reading instruction such as Orton-Gillingham, Wilson or Lindamood Bell.  

Optimizing the dyslexic brain with effective natural solutions can improve processing speed and attention


Studies have shown that magnesium can play an important role in improving brain function, particularly for individuals with dyslexia. Magnesium is an essential mineral that is involved in many processes within the brain, including learning and memory. It also plays a role in regulating the nervous system and reducing stress and anxiety. 

Some research has suggested that magnesium supplementation can improve reading speed and comprehension in individuals with dyslexia, as well as improve other cognitive functions such as working memory and attention. 


Neurofeedback is a non-invasive therapy that has shown to improve the brain functioning for individuals with dyslexia. By learning to regulate their brainwave activity, individuals with dyslexia can improve their ability to focus and process information, leading to improved reading and writing skills. Studies have shown that neurofeedback can lead to significant improvements in reading speed, accuracy, and comprehension, as well as improvements in attention and working memory. 


Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Therapy (PEMF) is a non-invasive therapy that has shown promise in improving brain functioning for individuals with dyslexia. CALM PEMF™  uses low-frequency electromagnetic waves to stimulate cellular activity and improve blood flow to the brain. Studies have shown that PEMF can lead to improvements in cognitive function, including attention, memory, and processing speed. PEMF has also been shown to improve reading skills and reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression in individuals with dyslexia. 

Your next Steps 

Exploring if you child needs a 504 Plan or an IEP is important and an educational advocate can assist. On my podcast, It's Gonna Be OK!, I recently discussed dyslexia with special education guru, Pete Wright from wrightslaw.com where he shared the biggest mistakes parents make in meetings. 


Orton-Gillingham Online Tutor. (n.d.). 504 Plan and Dyslexia. Retrieved from https://ortongillinghamonlinetutor.com/504-plan-dyslexia/

U.S. Department of Education. (2016). Parent and Educator Resource Guide to Section 504 in Public Elementary and Secondary Schools. Retrieved from https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/docs/504-resource-guide-201612.pdf

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What are 504 accommodations?

504 accommodations are specialized supports and services designed to assist students with disabilities, such as dyslexia, in the educational setting. These accommodations aim to create an inclusive and accessible learning environment, ensuring that students can fully participate in academic activities.

Can you provide some dyslexia examples?

Dyslexia examples encompass various challenges that individuals with dyslexia may face. These include difficulties in reading, spelling, and writing. For instance, dyslexic individuals might experience challenges in correctly spelling words like “accommodate” or “accommodating.” They may also have trouble pursuing phonics-based reading strategies or face issues with appropriately spelling words. Additionally, dyslexia can manifest in confusing similar-looking words, such as “accommodate” and “accompany,” as well as “accommodations” and “accommodating.” These challenges can lead to the need for specific 504 accommodations and specialized interventions.

Where can I find therapy aids worksheets for dyslexia?

Therapy aids worksheets for dyslexia can often be found online or through educational resources specializing in dyslexia support. These resources may include dyslexia-specific websites, educational platforms offering dyslexia materials, or worksheets designed to accommodate spelling difficulties, promote phonics learning, and develop reading and writing skills in individuals with dyslexia. Accessing these therapy aids can be essential for educators, parents, and therapists seeking to support dyslexic students effectively.

Could you share some 504 plan examples?

504 plan examples are in our free downloadable guide but may include extended test-taking time, preferential seating, or access to assistive technology. These accommodations aim to provide equal opportunities for students with dyslexia or other disabilities to succeed academically. Additional examples may involve the provision of audio dyslexia tools, reading assistive technology, or specialized curriculum modifications. It's crucial to tailor 504 plans to meet the specific needs of each student, ensuring that they receive the appropriate supports to thrive in their educational environment.

How do you spell accommodating correctly?

The correct spelling is “accommodating.” Spelling this word accurately is essential, especially for educators and students looking to use it appropriately in written assignments or communication. For individuals with dyslexia, mastering the spelling of words like “accommodating” might require specialized strategies and dyslexia-specific teaching methods.

What does “spelling accommodate” mean?

“Spelling accommodate” simply means correctly spelling the word “accommodate.” Accommodate is a term used in the context of providing necessary support and adjustments, such as 504 accommodations, to individuals with disabilities like dyslexia. Ensuring the correct spelling of this word is crucial for effective communication, especially when discussing accommodations and interventions for dyslexic students.

What are 504 accommodations for anxiety?

504 accommodations for anxiety encompass a range of supportive measures designed to assist students dealing with anxiety-related challenges. You can get these accommodation examples  in our free downloadable guide. These accommodations may include extended time for assignments, a quiet testing environment, counseling support, access to anxiety-reducing techniques, and specialized therapy aids worksheets. It's important for students with anxiety, including those with dyslexia and anxiety comorbidities, to have these accommodations to ensure their educational success.

Tell me more about a 504 meeting.

A 504 meeting is a crucial gathering involving various stakeholders in a student's education. This includes school professionals, parents, and sometimes the students themselves. The purpose of the meeting is to comprehensively discuss and develop a 504 plan tailored to a student's specific needs. During the meeting, various aspects of accommodations and supports may be addressed, such as therapy aids worksheets, dyslexia interventions, assistive technology, and strategies for dyslexia. These meetings are essential for ensuring that students receive appropriate accommodations and have the opportunity to thrive academically, particularly if they have dyslexia or related learning challenges.

What is included in a 504 plan accommodations list?

A 504 plan accommodations list is a comprehensive document outlining the specific supports and adjustments provided to students with disabilities, such as dyslexia. Some common accommodations listed that our in our free downloadable guide may include preferential seating, extra time on tests, access to assistive technology, therapy aids worksheets, multisensory reading instruction, and strategies for dyslexia. It's essential that this list is tailored to the individual needs of each student to ensure their academic success and a supportive learning environment.

How can I find resources on how to treat dyslexia?

You can discover valuable resources on how to treat dyslexia through various channels, including my website, www.drroseann.com.. Educational websites dedicated to dyslexia often offer a wealth of information, including dyslexia curriculum, dyslexia spelling worksheets, dyslexia teaching methods, and dyslexia teaching strategies. Books authored by experts in the field can provide in-depth insights into dyslexia interventions and dyslexia reading tools. Additionally, consulting with specialists in dyslexia, attending workshops or seminars on dyslexia support, and exploring dyslexia individualized educational interventions are all effective ways to gather valuable knowledge on how to help learners with dyslexia succeed academically.

What does “specially spelling” mean in the context of dyslexia?

“Specially spelling” doesn't have a specific meaning in the context of dyslexia. It might refer to specialized spelling instruction, spelling differentiation, or a spelling curriculum for dyslexia. These approaches are designed to address the unique spelling challenges that individuals with dyslexia may face. Specialized spelling programs may include dyslexia spelling worksheets and spelling specially adapted to the needs of dyslexic students.

Can you explain what “stealth dyslexia” is?

Stealth dyslexia is a term used to describe dyslexia in individuals who have developed strong compensatory strategies to cope with their reading and writing difficulties. While they may still experience dyslexic reading and spelling challenges, these individuals have become adept at masking or concealing their difficulties, making them less apparent to others. Stealth dyslexia interventions can be beneficial to help these individuals succeed academically, including dyslexia reading examples and dyslexia writing strategies. It's essential to provide support for students with stealth dyslexia to ensure they receive the dyslexia help they need to thrive in their educational journey.

How do you accommodate spelling for dyslexic students?

You can get a list of accommodations for dozens of issues with our free downloadable guide. Accommodating spelling for dyslexic students, including those with dyslexia spelling difficulties, may involve using assistive technology, offering word prediction software, providing additional time for written assignments, and implementing spelling modifications tailored to their specific needs. These spelling accommodations are essential to support dyslexic students in their spelling pursuits and ensure they can spell words appropriately.

What are some strategies for dyslexia?

Strategies for dyslexia encompass a wide range of approaches, including multisensory reading instruction, using assistive technology like audio dyslexia tools and dyslexia reading aids, providing additional time for reading and writing tasks, employing differentiated instruction methods, and implementing specially designed instruction for students with SLD and dyslexia. These dyslexia teaching strategies and interventions aim to help dyslexic students overcome their challenges and succeed academically. It's crucial to offer dyslexia teaching resources and dyslexia writing strategies to support students effectively.

Can you explain the difference between an IEP and a 504 plan?

An IEP (Individualized Education Program) provides more comprehensive services, accommodations, and specially designed instruction for students with disabilities, such as dyslexia. In contrast, a 504 plan, while still offering accommodations like 504 accommodations for anxiety, provides supports to ensure equal access to education, especially for students with conditions like dyslexia or anxiety. It's essential to understand the distinctions between IEP vs. 504 plan chart when developing an appropriate education plan for students with specific needs.

What are some common 504 accommodations for high school students?

Common 504 accommodations for high school students are included in our free downloadable guide. Some included for those with dyslexia or anxiety, may encompass extended time on tests, note-taking assistance, access to audiobooks, and specialized educational interventions. These 504 accommodations for high school students aim to create an inclusive and supportive learning environment tailored to their individual needs. It's vital to consider 504 plan examples for anxiety and other conditions when determining the best accommodations.

Where can I find a list of 504 accommodations for anxiety?

You can find a comprehensive list of 504 accommodations for anxiety through various resources, such as your school's special education department, online educational platforms, or specialized guides and articles addressing 504 plan accommodations for anxiety. Exploring these resources will provide you with valuable insights into creating effective 504 plans to support students with anxiety or related conditions.

How do you spell “accommodations” correctly?

The correct spelling is “accommodations,” and it's essential to ensure proper spelling when discussing topics related to 504 accommodations, dyslexia spelling, or accommodations in the classroom.

What is the difference between a 504 plan and an IEP for dyslexia?

A 504 plan provides accommodations and supports, including 504 accommodations for anxiety, to help students with dyslexia access general education. In contrast, an IEP (Individualized Education Program) offers more specialized services, strategies for dyslexia, and individually tailored educational interventions designed to address the specific needs of students with dyslexia. Understanding the distinctions between these two plans is crucial when determining the best approach to support students with dyslexia in their educational journey.

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She coined the terms, “Re-entry panic syndrome” and “eco-anxiety” and is a frequent contributor to media on mental health. 

Dr. Roseann Capanna-Hodge has three decades of experience in working with children, teens and their families with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism, concussion, dyslexia and learning disability, anxiety, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), depression and mood disorder, Lyme Disease, and PANS/PANDAS using science-backed natural mental health solutions such as supplements, magnesium, nutrition, QEEG Brain maps, neurofeedback, PEMF, psychotherapy and other non-medication approaches. 

She is the author of three bestselling books, It’s Gonna Be OK!: Proven Ways to Improve Your Child's Mental Health, The Teletherapy Toolkit, and Brain Under Attack. Dr. Roseann is known for offering a message of hope through science-endorsed methods that promote a calm brain. 

Her trademarked BrainBehaviorResetⓇ Program and It’s Gonna be OK!Ⓡ Podcast has been a cornerstone for thousands of parents facing mental health, behavioral or neurodevelopmental challenges.

She is the founder and director of The Global Institute of Children’s Mental Health, Neurotastic™Brain Formulas and Dr. Roseann Capanna-Hodge, LLC. Dr. Roseann is a Board Certified Neurofeedback (BCN) Practitioner, a Board Member of the Northeast Region Biofeedback Society (NRBS), Certified Integrative Mental Health Professional (CIMHP) and an Amen Clinic Certified Brain Health Coach.  She is also a member of The International Lyme Disease and Associated Disease Society (ILADS), The American Psychological Association (APA), Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) National Association of School Psychologists (NASP), International OCD Foundation (IOCDF).

© Roseann-Capanna-Hodge, LLC 2024

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to give health advice and it is recommended to consult with a physician before beginning any new wellness regime. *The effectiveness of diagnosis and treatment vary by patient and condition. Dr. Roseann Capanna-Hodge, LLC does not guarantee certain results.

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