What is the difference between an IEP and a 504 Plan?

Standard

Do you know the difference between an IEP and a 504 plan? I have 6 kids (2 are mine and 4 are his). So, between us we have 2 children with an IEP and 1 with a 504. I have had a lot of experience with both on the MOM level. Additionally, as a school counselor, I have lead 504 meetings and also participated in IEP meetings as well. There are some differences between the two and different disabilities and conditions warrant different school services. Here is the quick scoop on both. We will go more in depth another day πŸ™‚

IEP Defined
The Individualized Educational Plan (IEP) is a plan or program 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.

504 Plan Defined
The 504 Plan 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 accommodations that will ensure their academic success and access to the learning environment.

Subtle but 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 Rehabilitation 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 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.

For more information, consult Interrelationship of IDEA and Section 504.
http://www.washington.edu/doit/Stem/articles?52

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About aoschmidt

Founder of My College and Career Coach (Part of My Balance LLC) as well as Next Step for Special Needs (501C org) and an Emotion Code Practitioner. I LOVE helping people to prosper! I am the mother of 6 (2 mine and 4 are his) and 2 of these children have special needs. My educational background includes a BS in Psychology and a MS in Counseling and Guidance. Over the past 20 years, I have been assisting families, with special needs children, from birth to graduation and beyond, for FREE! I have been helping these families while working full time in the field of education as a school counselor and learning how the educational system works from both sides (as an educator and a parent). I have been helping families to navigate the medical and educational systems as well as obtaining other services that are available to their children. See ABOUT page for full company profile. Follow the blog via email or join us on Facebook!

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