Some students with disabilities may not require an IEP under the IDEA, however, they may qualify for a 504 plan under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. A 504 plan is a blueprint or plan for how a child will have access to learning at school. It provides services and changes to the learning environment to meet the needs of the child as adequately as other students.
To qualify for a 504 plan, there are two requirements:
- A child has any disability, which can include many learning or attention issues.
- The disability must interfere with the child’s ability to learn in a general education classroom.
Section 504 has a broader definition of a disability than IDEA. It says a disability must substantially limit one or more basic life activities, such as learning. Therefore, a child who doesn’t qualify for an IEP might still be able to get a 504 plan.