You may have heard that a student has a 504 plan or an IEP (Individualized Education Plan) at school. What’s a 504 plan?
The term “504” refers to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
This is a federal civil rights law that aims to protect students who have any type of disability from being discriminated against or not getting the educational assistance they need. The law applies to all public schools but also to any other educational institution (college, private school, etc.) that receives any funding from the federal government.
Parental input: While input from parents is not mandated by the law, almost always the school district will involve parents in the process.
504 plan versus IEP
What’s the difference between a 504 plan and an Individualized Education Plan (IEP)?
A 504 plan is a plan for additional services that will be provided in the regular classroom for the student with disabilities. But, in a 504 plan, the regular curriculum is followed and not changed. What is provided are accommodations that allow the student to succeed with the regular curriculum. For example, if a student needs a wheelchair in the classroom or extra time to take tests or an extra set of books to keep at home, these would be covered by a 504 plan.
On the other hand, an IEP covers specialized or individualized education that a student with disabilities will receive.
Format of a 504 plan
There is no standard format for a 504 plan, so each school district has its own format.
Examples of things that are included are:
– A statement of students’ present level of academic achievement and functional performance (PLAAFP)
– The students’ measurable annual goals and objectives (MAGOs). I did NOT make up this acronym. It is real. 🙂
American Academy of Pediatrics. Provision of educationally-related services for children and adolescents with chronic diseases and disabling conditions. American Academy of Pediatrics. Committee on Children with Disabilities. Pediatrics. 2000 Feb;105(2):448-51. PubMed PMID: 10654975.
Spiel CF, Evans SW, Langberg JM. Evaluating the content of Individualized Education Programs and 504 Plans of young adolescents with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Sch Psychol Q. 2014 Dec;29(4):452-468. doi: 10.1037/spq0000101. PubMed PMID: 25485467; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4285444.
Copyright © 2017 to 2020, Simple and Practical Medical Education, LLC. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced in any form without express written permission.
Disclaimer: The content on this website is provided as general education for medical professionals. It is not intended or recommended for patients or other laypersons or as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Patients must always consult a qualified health care professional regarding their diagnosis and treatment. Healthcare professionals should always check this website for the most recently updated information.