Section 504 of the 1973 Rehabilitation Act was the first disability civil rights law to be enacted in the United States. It prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in programs that receive federal financial assistance, and set the stage for enactment of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The 504 Plan ensures that the child with a disability has equal access to an education through accommodations and modifications.
A 504 plan is monitored by classroom teacher. A student with an Individual Education Plan (IEP), as part of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA 2004), may receive different educational services in a special or regular educational setting, depending on the student’s need.
The legal duties under Section 504, as well as their rights under the law. Schools must notify disabled students and their parents prior to taking action regarding the identification, evaluation, or placement of a student with a disability (i.e., notice of all Section 504 committee meetings and evaluations).
There is a difference between a Individual Education Plan and a 504 Plan that is important to understand.