Both IEPs and 504 plans can provide accommodations to your child's education (K-12) at no cost to families. If planned and implemented well, these legally binding documents can help meet the needs of your child who has a disability which is impacting their ability to learn. While an IEP provides more specialized instruction and individualized supports, the process for obtaining an IEP is much more strict and time consuming. 504 plans are more easily obtained for a wider range of students and in many cases might be able to sufficiently accommodate your child's needs in the classroom.
Process For Obtaining
Obtaining both an IEP and a 504 plan is a collaborative process involving districts, schools, parents and caregivers, and other medical professionals. Acquiring an IEP involves a formal, approved evaluation and can be a lengthy process.
It is important to note that if your child is determined to be eligible for a 504 or IEP and a plan has been developed, it is necessary to check on implementation and revisit the document as needed. When implemented successfully, these plans can provide your child with the necessary support and structure to be more successful in the classroom.
Remember, while many private schools will work towards providing as many accommodations as possible, they are not legally obligated to follow IEPs and 504 plans.
It is easy to become bogged down with information and decision making. We hope this breakdown helps you better understand each plan and the steps needed to obtain them. Whether you decide to seek private testing for your child or you need support services post-evaluation, Parallel is here to help as you navigate this process. For more information on IEPs and how we can help, check out this past blog post. To talk to one of our specialists about how we can assist you through this process, click here.