504 vs IEP

What’s the difference between an IEP and a 504 plan?


504 plans get their name from Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, a broad civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in any agency, school, or institution receiving federal funds.

Section 504 requires schools to eliminate barriers that would prevent a student from participating fully in the programs and services offered in the general curriculum by providing reasonable accommodations. Those accommodations may be documented in a plan called a 504 plan.

Both IEPs and 504 plans are intended to ensure that students with disabilities have equal access to education.

The difference is: IEPs are developed for students who receive specialized instruction. 504 plans are for students who have accessibility requirements (e.g., extended time for tests and assignments, large print classroom materials, etc.), but do not require specialized instruction, and do not qualify for special education programs under Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). 




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