Winter 2020


Susie Redfern developed Milestones Magazine to help individuals with disabilities and their families achieve and celebrate events and milestones in their lives.

I.E.P. &

Section 504


two sides of the same coin?

I.E.P. (which stands for stands for

Individualized Education Program)

is likely the most used acronym for

parents of the school-aged special

needs population, as it is the

gatekeeper to special education

services in the public-school

system; nobody can enter without

one. However, it is not the only

avenue to accommodations for

children who need them. Section

504 also can come into play for

students who don’t qualify for

an IEP.

The following is excerpted from a

podcast by Catherine Whitcher:


• With an IEP, the basis is IDEA law.

• An IEP has eligibility categories;

a 504 plan looks at additional

supports, accommodations and

modifications to meet a child’s

needs rather than eligibility


• An IEP stops at age 22; 504 plan

has no age limit and can follow

into college and the workplace.

• An IEP addresses a child’s

deficit with specific goals and

specialized instruction; a

504 plan addresses only

accommodations, modifications

and supports needed for equal

access in the workplace or

school setting.

• Both IEP and Section 504 need

a thorough annual review and

can be changed as often

For a 504 plan, you’re dealing

with the section 504 of the

rehabilitation act of 1973.

• Both IEP and Section 504 have

as needed.


accountability systems set up

and are enforceable.


Catherine Whitcher offers a

Master IEP Coach program; please


for more information.


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