The Difference Between IEPs and 504 Plans

Sue, Jason


APA Citation

The Understood Team. (n.d.) The difference between IEPs and 504 plans. Retrieved from


Individual Education Programs (IEPs) and 504 plans, both serve similar purposes in provided tailored education for students with special needs at no cost to the parent, but one of the differences is that Section 504 has a much broader definition to disability than the  Individual Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The means that if a child may not qualify for an IEP then he or she may qualify for a 504 plan. The team that creates an Individualized Education Program (IEP) is narrowly defined and must include a child’s parent, at least one of the child’s general educations teachers, a psychologist, and a school district special education specialist. In comparison, the regulation on the requirements of a 504 planning team is much less specific. A typical 504 planning team may include a child’s guardian, a general education teacher, and the school principal.


The Difference Between IEPs and 504 Plans is a good overview on the differences between Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) and 504 Plans. It doesn’t go into detail on either but is an outstanding resource for someone who is curious about the differences between these two programs.