What is the difference between an IEP and 504?
Individualized Education Program (IEP)
The Individualized Education Plan (IEP) is a plan developed to ensure that a child who has a disability identified under the law and is attending an elementary or secondary educational institution receives specialized instruction and related services.
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act helps a child with special health care needs to fully participate in school. Usually, a 504 Plan is used by a general education student who is not eligible for special education services. A 504 Plan lists accommodations related to the child's disability and is required by the child so that he or she may participate in the general classroom setting and educational programs. A 504 Plan is a general education function and is not connected to special education. For example, a 504 Plan may include but are not limited to:
- Plans to make a school wheelchair-accessible
- Your child's assistive technology needs during the school day
- Permission for your child to type assignments instread of writing them by hand
- Permission for your child to have extended time when completing assignments and/or tests
- Permission for your child to hand in assignments late due to an illness or hospital stay
The 504 Plan is a plan developed to ensure that a chld who has a disability identified under the law and is attending an elementary or secondary educational institution receives accommodations that will ensure their academic success and access to the learning environment. Please notify your students teacher if you feel there is a need for additional support.
Other Important Differences
Not all students who have disabilities require specialized instruction. For students with disabilities who do require specialized instruction, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) controls the procedural requirements, and an IEP is developed. The IDEA process is more involved than that of Section 504 of the Rehabilitations Act and requires documentation of measurable growth. For students with disabilities who do not require specialized instruction but need the assurance that they will receive equal access to public education and services, a 504 document is created to outline their specific accessibility requirements. Students with 504 Plans do not require specialized instruction, but, like the IEP, a 504 Plan should be updated annually to ensure that the student is receiving the most effective accommodations for his/her specific circumstances.
- If a student has an IEP or 504, they may take a copy with them to the Access and Ability Center. The information in the IEP or 504 will be reviewed and taken into consideration as the AAC works to develop the Individual Learning Plan.
- A student cannot receive services through an IEP and have a 504 at the same time.
- For more information on 504 and SST please reach out to our Student Services Department