Section 504 vs IDEA: Difference and Comparison

In school systems, guardians of disabled children will likely encounter IDEA special education laws and Section 504 obligations. So what were the commonalities and differences between the different sets of rules, and how will they affect your children’s schoolwork and potentially or their life after high school?

Key Takeaways

  1. Section 504 is a civil rights law prohibiting discrimination against individuals with disabilities in federally funded programs or activities.
  2. IDEA is an education-specific law that ensures children with disabilities receive appropriate special education and related services.
  3. Both laws aim to protect the rights of individuals with disabilities, but IDEA focuses on educational support, while Section 504 addresses broader discrimination issues.

Section 504 vs IDEA

Section 504 and IDEA differ because Section 504 was initially adopted as a civil rights measure to protect the minority from government-funded facilities. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is government legislation that requires learning environments to provide a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) to additional needs pupils who meet specific requirements.

Section 504 vs IDEA

Discriminating on the grounds of disabilities is prohibited under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Section 504 is a statutory right that mandates that the requirements of disabled children be fulfilled in the same way that the needs of non-disabled pupils are served.

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is a federal law that ensures that all impaired children have access to free and appropriate schooling. The assessment of the individual’s needs, abilities, and competencies as they pertain to their transfer of learning to university life is part of the strategy.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonSection 504IDEA
Type and RegulationsIDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act), which itself is primarily an academic law, requires public establishments to include a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) for underprivileged pupils who meet one of several law’s specific criteria.IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act), which itself is primarily an academic law, it requires public establishments to include a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) for underprivileged pupils who meet one of several law’s specific criteria.
Service DifferenceSection 504 of the Rehabilitation Act mandates schools to make adequate, reasonable modifications and adjustments to qualified students with disabilities.IDEA guidelines, on the other hand, identify impairment as one of 13 specified diagnoses. In certain circumstances, IDEA sets the precise evaluation established criteria in a class.
In terms of DisabilitySection 504 defines disabilities in general terms. It comprises a diverse range of students who have intellectual disabilities that significantly impede a primary life activity.Section 504 inspections are created by the panel that works with the kid and are confined to the specific concerns that must be addressed.
SafeguardsSection 504 compels schools to notify parents of their plans to assist kids with impairments. The restrictions do not require parental approval.The Program requires districts to provide far more parental notice and permission. Any meetings involving their youngsters must be communicated to and attended by their guardians.
Evaluation RequiredIDEA, on the other end, IDEA mandates that teachers design an Individualized Education Program (IEP) for every person based on one’s demoFromeed.IDEA, from the other end, IDEA mandates that teachers design an Individualized Education Program (IEP) for every person based on one’s demoFromeed.

What is Section 504?

“Any program or activity obtaining government financial aid” is covered by Section 504. Even when an organization is neither a federal nor state entity, it should conform with Section 504 if it gets government financing. “Any program or activity obtaining government financial aid” is covered by Section 504. Even when an organization is neither a federal nor state entity, it should conform with Section 504 if it gets government financing.

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For instance, airlines in the United States might be substantiated by federal and state government funds and so must be compatible.

“Because school libraries in several areas receive government funding, either explicitly or implicitly, they must also adhere.” Any initiative or activity obtaining government financial aid” is covered by Section 504. “Because school libraries in several areas either explicitly or implicitly receive government funding, they must also adhere. “Any initiative or activity obtaining government financial aid” is covered by Section 504.

Section 504 was designed to have an impact on the livelihood of disabled individuals, which included schooling.

Section 504 would be the first national civil rights law to ensure that children with disabilities had fair opportunities at federally funded institutions of higher learning. Section 504 applies to educational institutions and universities that receive federal grants and funds.

What is IDEA?

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is a part of American legislation which assures that disabled students get Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) that is adapted to their specific requirements. From 1975 till 1990, the IDEA was referred to as the Education for All Handicapped Children Act.

The EHA was amended and renamed IDEA in 1990 by the United States Congress. IDEA’s ultimate purpose is to give disabled individuals the same educational opportunities as their peers.

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires that your child’s assessment involve several trials and reviews to determine whether or not he or they are special.

Following 60 days of getting permission, a school system must undertake an initial examination to assess if the youngster is qualified for educational needs. Parents can only seek one assessment each year except if the school agrees.

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Under special education law, public schools must place students in the least restrictive environment (LRE) that best suits their requirements.

Main Differences Between Section 504 and IDEA

  1. The IDEA expresses a government’s affirmative duty to offer free, suitable state schools; the Rehabilitation Act expresses a negative prohibition on disability discrimination in government-funded activities. In other terms, Section 504 protects against discrimination, while the IDEA protects against incorrect educational placing choices irrespective of discriminatory practices.
  2. Section 504 coverage continues after a student graduates from high school or ages out of special schools. A disabled person loses IDEA protections as well as the right to FAPE after he or she graduates from college or reaches 21.
  3. A student who is classed under IDEA should have a condition that fits into each of the 13 categories, including autism, a speech therapy condition, other illnesses, emotional problems, or a cognitive disability, to mention a few. Whereas the Section 504 qualification criteria are substantially broader. If a youngster has physical or mental handicap issues that significantly limit a person’s quality of life, he or she will be entitled, according to Section 504.
  4. IDEA includes a complex dispute resolution mechanism that compels states to develop processes and standards for public schools to follow. Section 504 requires public schools, instead of states, to establish a system of legal protections involving notice, access to information, an unbiased hearing, and a procedure.
  5. The panel that engages with the kid develops Section 504 tests, which are restricted towards the specific issues to be resolved. Because children’s needs are substantially more complicated, IDEA examinations are longer than Section 504 assessments.
References
  1. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/004005990203400302?journalCode=tcxa
  2. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1044207315626115

Last Updated : 13 July, 2023

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