IEP vs 504 Plan: Difference and Comparison

People who were born disabled or some unexpected accident made them this way have to live a hard life. They can not run errands like normal people nor can they enjoy other things.

To make their lives comfortable and to give them plenty of chances to live, programs like IEP and Section 504 were established.

Key Takeaways

  1. IEPs target students with disabilities, providing tailored instruction and support to meet their needs.
  2. 504 Plans ensure equal access to education for students with disabilities, accommodating their specific needs within the general education setting.
  3. IEPs require regular progress monitoring and revisions, while 504 Plans focus on providing necessary accommodations without individualized instruction.

IEP vs 504 Plan

IEP (Individualized Education Plan) is designed for students who require special education services to make progress in the general education curriculum. A 504 Plan provides accommodations and support to students with disabilities that affect their major life activities, including learning.

IEP vs 504 Plan

IEP is a program that facilitates disabled children, who are going to elementary or secondary schools. This plan ensures that the children are getting the required services and instructions.

The full form of IEP is Individualised Education Plan. The IEP plan is based in the United States. This plan is used to keep and analyze the track of education.

The 504 plan is a section Rehabilitation Act of 1973. In this section particular rights have been mentioned or written that give certain benefits for disabled people.

This Act is also known as the first law that was introduced to give protection to disabled people. There are widely spread paragraphs explaining these rights.

Comparison Table

Parameters Of ComparisonIEP504 Plan
Structure of lawIEP falls under the Individuals with Disabilities Act which is also known as IDEA. It elaborates on Special Education. The 504 plan belongs to the Rehabilitation Act which was constituted in 1973 to elaborate the civil rights of disabled people.
UsageIEP program is used for educational purposes only. It provides and Modifies better techniques to teach abnormal children. 504 is commonly used in the field of education, work, and college which is also responsible for the placements.
AgeThe age limit of receiving IEP is till 21 years. It mostly lasts from elementary school to 12th grade. There is no age limit in the 504 plan. It is offered to people of all ages suffering from abnormalities.
Eligibility criteriaApplicant must have a disability that comes under the laws described in the legal notice of the IEP plan.A person simply not being able to do daily stuff like other normal people is acceptable by a 504 plan.
ServicesIEP plan includes specialized education, scope, and other related services for disabled children of the nation. 504 plan includes improvement, accommodation, placements, etc. The number of services is more than IEP in the 504 plan.

What is IEP?

The IEP is a legal document that was developed under US law and focused on the education of disabled children in the nation. There are children who need special education, and the Individualised Education Plan is the method to solve this problem.

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A team of children’s parents and district personnel formed this plan because they were the people who knew their respective children properly.

Each child’s needs can vary, and it is the program’s responsibility to find and fulfil such needs.

The IEP program needs to be checked or reviewed every year to make improvements because some children progress fast, and some do not. The IEP accepts those children who are disabled in a certain way.

This plan provides a significant educational experience for the children. To be part of the plan, a child must be a student, attend a public school, be between 3 to 21 years old, and be a US citizen.

Examples of disabilities that are signified by IEP are brain injury, autism, deafness, blindness, intellectual disabilities, speech impairment, orthopaedic impairment, etc.

This data is used to draw conclusions, so the needs, performance, and strength level should be evaluated. It is also helpful to determine the techniques used to teach disabled children.

The best feature of IEP is that it also provides placements for these children.

What is 504 Plan?

The 504 elaborates on the rights of disabled people. It explains how public schools can help these children to get equal education and opportunities.

It denotes the support and needs to be required by disabled children and people and provides the required help. Through this plan, the feeding discrimination also gets faded. 504 plan is a section and also known as civil rights law.

The other programs that get financial assistance from federal resources come under the 504 plan. The motive of the 504 plan was to increase the employment of disabled people, which can be done by educating them.

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So, education was also included as an essential part of this plan.

This plan was set up to give equal education, services, and rights to disabled people to decrease discrimination. Becoming part of the 504 plan allows such people to get higher education from reputed institutions.

Even though an organization is private, getting funds from federal grants should comply with the 504 plan.

The 504 plan imposes such regulations overall funded institutions to open their gate for qualified disabled people. It provides the service of FAPE ( Free Appropriate Public Education) to the students.

These institutions are responsible for signifying the needs and support a student requires and helping him accordingly.

Main Differences Between IEP and 504 Plan

  1. The IEP requires the parents of the children to attend meetings, while in the 504 plan, the parents have to request to join the meeting.
  2. In IEP, the needs and support necessary for children are decided by both parents and professionals, while in the 504 plan, only the team of professionals decides such matters.
  3. A team of professionals in the IEP program records the progress made by students. On the other hand, there are no such teams in the 504 plan.
  4. The IEP provides facilities to disabled children of k-12 while the 504 plan is responsible until the student is passed out from college.
  5. People can apply to become part of IEP only before they are 21 years old, while there is no age limit in the 504 plan.
Difference Between IEP and 504 Plan

Last Updated : 13 July, 2023

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6 thoughts on “IEP vs 504 Plan: Difference and Comparison”

  1. It’s great to see these programs are being discussed and implemented. It’s crucial that we continue to prioritize the educational success of disabled students.

  2. Both the IEP and the 504 Plan have their strong suits, but there may still be room for improvement. It’s important to continue discussions on this topic.

  3. The 504 plan is definitely a step in the right direction for the inclusion of people with disabilities. We need to push for more of these kinds of programs.

  4. It’s encouraging to see that IEP and 504 Plans are working to provide equal educational opportunities for students with disabilities. However, we should continue to monitor and improve them.

  5. It’s great that disabled children are receiving the help they need to succeed. Certainly important that we continue making progress here.

  6. It’s good to educate the public about the differences between IEP and the 504 Plan. The more people know, the better equipped they’ll be to advocate for students with disabilities.


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