A 504 plan is an outline for how schools can offer supports and remove obstacles for kids with disabilities. The aim of the plan is to offer equal access to the general education curriculum. Although it is not all the students that require special education, they might still need services or supports at school. And they may be able to get the needed help through a 504 plan, depending on their challenges.
What Is a 504 Plan?
This is a formal plan developed by schools to give students with disabilities the supports they require. Covered under section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, the plans prevent discrimination and protect the rights of the students with disabilities in school. It’s important to note that 504 plans are not part of special education, so they don’t usually offer individualized instructions.
What is the difference between 504 Plans and IEPs?
The main difference between a 504 plan and an Individualized Education Program (IEP) is that the 504 plan modifies a child with a disability standard education program in a standard classroom setting. And the 504 plans are monitored by the classroom teachers while a kid with an IEP may receive different educational services in a standard or special educational setting, depending on the needs of the kid.
The Individualized Education Program is monitored and delivered by additional school support staff. Plus, the IEP program requires parental approval and involvement, but this is not always required for a 504 plan. It is also important to note that kids with IEPs are enabled to the additional services and protections offered by 504 plans.
Things that go into 504 plans
504 plans usually include accommodations like changes to how the curriculum is presented, changes to instruction, or changes to the environment. Accommodations do not tamper with what the kids with disabilities learn, only how they learn it. The aim is to remove any barrier that can hinder kids from learning and give them access.
Accommodations tackle specific challenges. For instance, a kid with dyslexia will have the permission to use text-to-speech technology. However, in rare cases, 504 plans can offer modifications that change what a student is expected to learn or taught. For instance, a kid might be given less homework assignments.
How to get a 504 plan
The process of receiving 504 plans varies from one school district to another. Kids with disabilities don’t need to get a detailed evaluation to get a 504 plan, though many do. Moreover, schools usually recommend a 504 plan if a kid doesn’t qualify for special education, but still require a form of support or protection.
You can request a 504 plan Florida through the district’s 504 coordinators. Then the school will hold a meeting to decide if the kid qualifies and the appropriate support needed.
Need help getting 504 plan Florida?
If you want an expert to help with the process or you have reached an impasse with the school authorities, contact The IEP Advocate. At The IEP Advocate, we can help you successfully negotiate a 504 Plan that meets your kid’s specific needs.