Difference Between IEP and 504 Plan

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.


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

IEP vs 504 Plan

The difference between IEP and the 504 Plan is that the IEP provides support to the disabled students belonging to the grade K-12 while the 504 plan focuses on both K-12 and college-level students who are disabled. Both programs are here to help those students or children who are barely accepted by society.

IEP vs 504 Plan

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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 of the nation. There are children who need special education and the Individualised Education Plan is the method to solve this problem.

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

The needs of each child can vary from one another and it is the responsibility of the program to find and fulfill 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 to the children. To be part of the plan, a child must be a student, should be attending a public school, must be between 3 to 21 years old, and should be a US citizen.

The examples of disabilities that are signified by IEP are brain injury, autism, deafness, blindness, intellectual disabilities, speech impairment, orthopedic impairment, etc.

This data is used to draw conclusions so the level of needs, performance, and strength 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 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 the federal resources come under the 504 plan. The motive of the 504 plan was to increase the employment of disabled people and it can be done by educating them.

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

This plan was set up to give equal education, services, and right to disabled people to decrease discrimination. By becoming part of the 504 plan, such people can 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 to signify the needs and support a student requires and help him accordingly.

Main Differences Between IEP and 504 Plan

  1. The IEP requires 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. The progress made by students is recorded by a team of professionals in the IEP program. On the other hand, there are no such teams in the 504 plan.
  4. The IEP provides facilities to the 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
  1. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.3200/PSFL.53.1.8-14
  2. https://resources.educationalimpact.com/ei_resources/resources/spedlaw/pdf/504PlanBasicsWhatIsaSection504PlanandWhosCoveredUnderstood.pdf

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