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How does my child qualify for a 504 plan or an IEP?

Your child may get an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or a 504 Plan. 

The rules for eligibility are different for the 2 plans.

504 Plan

To be eligible for a 504 plan a student must attend a school that gets federal funding. Most public schools and some private schools get federal funding.

In addition:

  • The student must be of school age.
  • The student must have a record that shows they have  a mental, psychological, or physical disability. And,
  • The disability must “substantially limit one or more major life activities.” Major life activities are activities like walking, seeing, writing and learning.

A student may be eligible for a 504 plan if they have a temporary disability, like a concussion, that limits a major life activity.

Individualized Education Plan (IEP)

Your child is eligible for an IEP if:

  1. They have one of the following disabilities:
    • Autism,
    • Developmental Delay,
    • Intellectual,
    • Sensory: hearing, vision, deaf or blind,
    • Neurological,
    • Emotional,
    • Communication,
    • Physical,
    • Specific Learning,
    • Health - Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
  2. They are not making “effective progress” in school.
  3. They are not making effective progress because of their disability. And,
  4. To make effective progress, they need specially designed instruction, related services, or both.

If your child attends a private school, or you are homeschooling, your public school district must evaluate your child.  Based on that evaluation, the school district decides if your child is eligible for special education.  If your child is eligible, the District will provide services for your child.

If the school decides your child is not eligible for accommodation or special education services, and you disagree, see:


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