Section 504

Los Angeles Special Education Attorney

All children with disabilities are guaranteed free and appropriate public education (FAPE) under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. This includes children who do not meet the stringent requirements for an Individualized Education Program (IEP). 504 prohibits discrimination against disabled children and is enforced by the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) rather than the Department of Education. If you believe that your child is entitled to a 504 plan, or if your disabled child has been denied IEP eligibility, please talk to special education lawyer Fred J Fleming right away.

504 Plan

A 504 plan is a written document outlining how the school district will accommodate your handicapped child to ensure FAPE. 504 is not just for children who need special education. For some children, this will include special education, but for many it can simply mean accommodations such as wheelchair access.

A 504 plan must provide FAPE in the least restrictive environment (LRE). That means, educating your child in a regular classroom as much as possible, and avoiding segregation from non-disabled children.

504 vs. IEP

The 504 plan and process is far less formal and structured than the IEP process. While it can be helpful for a child who needs special education but does not qualify for an IEP, it does not replace the IEP or serve the same purposes.

The IEP falls under the Individuals with Disabilities Act of 2004 (IDEA). Students must meet specific criteria to qualify, and the requirements for the IEP itself are very specific. It must set timelines and goals, be tailored to the student’s needs, and provide educational benefit.

The 504 plan does not focus on academic and educational goals and progress, like the IEP. Instead, 504 is designed to accommodate disability and to provide certain aides and services, so that disabled children have access to the same education as non-disabled children.

It is much easier for a child to qualify for a 504 plan than an IEP. However, there are fewer safeguards in place to help parents enforce a 504 plan and make sure that their children’s needs are met.

If you believe that your child qualifies for a 504 plan, or if your child has a 504 plan but your child’s needs are not being met, the Law Office of Fred J. Fleming can help. Please contact us online to learn more and schedule your initial consultation right away.

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