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What kinds of accommodations and services can my child get?

Produced by Massachusetts Law Reform Institute & Justice Center of Southeastern Massachusetts
Created February, 2022

If your child qualifies for a 504 plan or an IEP

Your child can get accommodations like:

  • More time on tests
  • Sitting close to the teacher
  • Organizers
  • Breaks

Your child can get services like:

  • Counseling,
  • Special help in reading or math in a small group,
  • Physical therapy,
  • Speech and Language therapy.

Your child can get many other kinds of services and support. Everything your child gets should be tailored to fit their unique needs.

Is an IEP better than a 504 Plan?

No. Both are meant to give your child the help they need to make progress. The decision to give your child an IEP or a 504 Plan all depends on your child’s needs.

If your child needs accommodations, services or supports to make sure they get an education like the education their peers get, they will get a 504 Plan.

If your child also needs special education, especially specialized instruction so they can progress in the general curriculum, they will usually get an IEP.

If your child is eligible for an IEP, they are also eligible for a 504 Plan. Any accommodations or information that would be part of the 504 Plan are put in the IEP.

Many students are eligible for a 504 Plan but not an IEP. For example, students with asthma, or students who have a temporary disability like a concussion may get a 504 plan, but might not be eligible for an IEP.


Plan Eligibility Goal What your child gets
504 Plan A physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity like learning, walking, writing or seeing. To make sure that the child's disability does not stop them from learning, completing their school work, and it is not a barrier to getting around the school building, and participating in school activities as their peers do. Services and accommodations to make sure they get the same  education their peers get.
IEP Qualifying disabilities.  To provide specialized instruction or related services to eligible students so they can make progress in the general education curriculum.  Specialized instruction, related services, and accommodations that are unique to your child's needs.


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