Students are entitled to accommodations if their disability prevents them from being successful in school. Accommodations for school typically come in two forms: through an Individualized Education Plan, (IEP), and through a Section 504 accommodation plan. When considering what accommodations are appropriate, it’s important to address the whole child. Students make the most significant gains and accomplishments when their behavioral, social and emotional needs are considered along with their academic needs.
What students are eligible for accommodations?
Any student under age 21 whose disability impacts their school performance is entitled to special education instruction and related services.
What's the difference between an IEP and a 504 Plan?
Both the 504 Plan and the IEP outline accommodations for students, but they aren’t the same thing.
- Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act outlines how individuals with disabilities are treated in places of public accommodation. A 504 Plan typically outlines accommodations to the learning environment, like testing in a quiet room.
- Conversely, IEPs have their legal backing in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). In order for a student to have an IEP, their disability must be one of the 13 disabilities defined by IDEA. Unlike a 504 Plan, an IEP Plan is tied to academic progress, requires annual review, and offers more rights and protections than a 504 Plan.
What accommodations are appropriate for my child?
When considering what accommodations would be beneficial, it’s important to address the needs of the whole child. Students enjoy the most significant gains and accomplishments when they are considered whole people with social, behavioral and emotional needs as well as academic needs.