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What are 504 Plans and IEP Plans?

IEP vs. 504:

Section 504 is part of a federal law allowing students with medical concerns to get “accommodations” to help them learn better such as breaks from physical activity, increased restroom breaks, adjustments for testing etc. All children with sickle cell disease should qualify for a 504 plan. Another law provides for an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for which not all children with sickle cell disease will qualify, but many will. This provides services such as extra tutoring, speech/physical therapy, etc to children with disabilities. Below are the specific guidelines for the laws of these plans.


There are some specific characteristics that are shared by both IEP and 504 Plan.  The picture below depicts clearly the eligibility criteria and related differences under both plans as well as common characteristics.

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Special Education Services Determination Process

Special Education Services Determination Process starts with referral to the school to evaluate a child. It has six components it. Once the evaluation is complete, then eligibility is determined. Once the child is found eligible based on the evaluation results; the IEP (Individualized Educational Plan) is created and Placement is suggested. Instructions are given based on IEP and Annual Review is done yearly to see the progress.

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Who is Part of my child's Educational Team?

The Educational Team is the group of people that decide the type of services, accommodations and placement needed for the child to succeed in school. The Educational Team consists of teachers, the student, parents, school representative (principal/assistant principal, school counselor), service providers (school nurse; occupational, speech, and physical therapist), and agency representatives (vocational rehabilitation, legal representative, and advocacy organizations- local examples include Parents Place of Maryland and Advocates for Justice and Education)

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