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Section 504, Differs from IEP

My daughter was recently deemed eligible for a Section 504 plan. What does that mean? Is this different from an IEP?

Not all students with cochlear implants are eligible for an Individualized Education Plan, or IEP. Section 504 plans are similar to IEPs in that they ensure that accommodations for your daughter will be implemented, for example, the school's purchase and use of an FM system in the classroom. In both instances a team of professionals will meet to discuss your daughter's strengths and challenges, and make determinations based on their assessment.

The major differences between IEPs and Section 504 plans are twofold.
  1. An IEP team is required to notify you of scheduled meetings, and you have a right to attend these meetings. Whereas Section 504 teams are not required to notify you of their meetings. While you may request to be present at the team meetings, they are under no obligation to include you.
  2. IEP teams monitor the progress of students throughout the year and work to ensure that students reach the goals laid out in their IEPs at the beginning of the year. A Section 504 team will not monitor your daughter's progress. 
The mini-course below may be useful.
Parent mini-course 3: Working with the school