April 25, 2023

Understanding the Differences Between an IEP and a 504 Plan

When it comes to ensuring their children receive the educational support they need, parents are often bombarded with terms they might not be familiar with. From Individual Education Programs (IEPs) to 504 plans, keeping up with the nuances of special education can be daunting, but having an experienced group of attorneys on your side can make supporting your child's educational journey more manageable.

What is an Individualized Education Program (IEP)?

An IEP is a plan created by school professionals that outlines specific services and goals for students with special educational needs. An IEP is designed to meet a student's unique educational needs, providing them with support services, accommodations, and any modifications that they may need to succeed.

An IEP includes information such as:

  • The student's current level of academic performance
  • Measurable annual goals and objectives
  • Description of how progress towards goals will be measured
  • List of specialized services and accommodations needed
  • Transition plan for life outside of high school (if applicable)

What is a 504 Plan?

A 504 plan is a written document that is created to ensure that students with disabilities receive accommodations to have equal access to education. This plan is tailored to the student's needs and provides clear strategies and goals for how the school can support them.

Unlike IEPs, 504 plans do not need to be reviewed or modified each year, but more frequent reviews can be requested by either the student's parents or the school district. However, it is recommended that 504 plans are revisited each year to better accommodate your child. 

What is The Difference Between an IEP and a 504 Plan?

When it comes to education, an IEP and a 504 plan are both essential tools for helping students meet their individual educational needs.

An IEP is a legally binding document tailored to a student's needs. It outlines strategies and services to assist the student in meeting educational goals. It's developed by teachers, administrators, and parents to improve their student's academic performance.

A 504 plan does not have the same legal standing as an IEP. The goal of a 504 plan is to provide equal access to education and create an environment where all students can learn effectively.

An IEP is more comprehensive than a 504 plan. It covers more circumstances and offers much more support for students who need it. It can even provide services like speech or occupational therapy or specialized instruction in certain areas, like math or English.

Both plans ensure that all students get an appropriate education regardless of their needs or learning challenges.

Contact our New York Special Education Lawyers

Are you considering asking your child's school for an IEP or a 504 plan? Is your child's current IEP or 504 plan not being respected by their school? The attorneys at Mizrahi Kroub LLP will answer any questions and help you develop the best strategy for your student. Contact us online today or call us at (212) 595-6200 to schedule a consultation.

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