504 Plan and IEP Chart

Summarized with Understood.org permission
504 Plan Individualized Education Program (IEP)
Section 504 1973 Rehabilitation Act: federal civil rights law to prevent discrimination against people with disabilities of any age Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA): federal special education law for children ages 3-21 and a special plan for families of 0–2 year old infant/toddlers
ANY disability
  • related to basic life activities (including learning)
  • affects learning in the general education classroom
Child has 1 or more of 13 disabilities listed in the law.
  • related to learning.
  • affects learning and benefiting from general education.
  • Special instruction is needed to make reasonable progress in school.
Some legal safeguards for child and parent Many legal safeguards for child and parent
  • District defined assessment standards.
  • Office of Civil Rights uses state timelines (60 days in CA)
Legally defined assessment standards and 60-day timeline
Decisions made by a team of people familiar with the child, who understand the evaluation data, and service options. For example:
  • Parent/caregiver
  • General education teacher
  • Special education teacher
  • Principal
Decisions made by a specific team:
  • Parent/caregiver
  • General education teacher
  • Special education teacher
  • School staff or other specialists who can interpret evaluation results
  • District representative with authority over special education services
Documented plan has no legally required components. Typically, lists accommodations to help a child access the general education program
Documented plan has many legally required components to ensure child benefits from school