I feel like this is such a silly question, but here goes: What's the difference between a 504 Plan and an IEP? I'm just learning about IEPs since we just had my son evaluated in January and his IEP went into effect last week. I keep seeing people mention 504 Plans and haven't heard of them. I'm curious as to what exactly they are and how they differ from an IEP.
by frndlyfnFebruary 17, 2013 at 2:55 PM
I really do not know either.
504 plans are to provide accommodations for students with various disabilities or medical conditions. They are similar to IEPs and can provide many of the same accommodations an IEP would.
The main difference is students with 504 plans don't generally recieve ESE services. For example a student with 504 plan wouldn't go to a resource class for instruction or work with the speech pathologist at the school. But a student with a 504 could have extra time to finish work or be allowed to do work in a quiet setting.
The process for qualifying for a 504 plan is usually much faster than the IEP process. But students with 504 usually have known or formally diagnosed conditions that have been documented. In order for a student to qualify for an IEP more time is needed because the student's needs are being evaluated during the process.
by ladyluke2007February 17, 2013 at 3:40 PM
Very informative. I didn't know the difference either.
A learning disability wouldn't qualify for a 504 most of the time.
Thanks! :) That would explain why no one ever mentioned a 504 plan in all the meetings I had at the school about his evaluation and IEP. I guess it wouldn't apply to him since it's not a medical or previously diagnosed condition.
February 17, 2013 at 7:21 PMI just asked my friend who is a teacher and here was her response:Here's my input as an upper elementary teacher. A 504 is generally for someone who can not qualify for an IEP. Typically they are classroom accommodations - like kid A needs to sit in the front row, etc.
I would push hard for the IEP. Sometimes 504s can be hard to carry out and your experience could vary depending upon the teacher.Another friend in the education field had this to say:504's are not just for mental health and they only allow for accommodations. IEP's allow for Accommodations, Time lines, Assessments, Eligibility, Program, Least Restrictive Environment, Related Services (DIS), Goals and Objectives,
Complaints and Disagreements.
The district can not deny an IEP before assessments are done as the assessments determine eligibility. If you sent in your request for evaluation, the district has to schedule whatever it is that they need to do for the evaluations. If they require the SST, then they should schedule it.
The law about the requirement to evaluate if requested by the child's parent is clear and unambiguous:
"A State educational agency, other State agency, or local educational agency [school district] shall conduct a full and individual initial evaluation ... either the parent of a child, or a State education agency, other State agency, or local educational agency may initiate a request for an initial evaluation to determine if the child is a child with a disability." 20 USC 1414(a)(1)IEP's are for students that qualify for special education but IDEA (The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) states that this is for students with disabilities. A disability does not have to be academic related but can be autism, visual impairment, hearing impairment, mental health issues, etc. There are 13 categories total that are covered by IDEA and ADD/ADHD is not on the qualifying list. The disability has to adversely affect the student's academic performance though. Once a parent has requested that the school district do the assessment, the district has X amount of days to respond and then X amount of days to do the evaluations. If a parent doesn't agree with what the school district personnel has to say, then they can request an independent evaluation that the district has to pay for.
In my research, I do not see anything in IDEA, FAPE or Wright's Law that say anything about the SST process. So I'm thinking that this is a local district procedure, which is fine but they still have to follow the law and do the evaluations as requested.