The rights of students with disabilities who need environmental disability accommodations to succeed in their Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) are covered under Section 504 of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and require a 504 Plan. 504 Plans are written plans developed by the 504 committee, including the parents of the student for whom the 504 Plan is written. They identify the student’s specific disabilities and the specific accommodations that will be implemented by the school to address the disabilities. 504 Plans are updated at least annually. The 504 coordinator is responsible for contacting all of the school staff involved in the implementation of the specific disability accommodations for each student with a 504 plan.
The rights of students with disabilities who need specialized instructional modifications to the general curriculum as well as environmental disability accommodations to succeed in their Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) are covered by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), and require an Individualized Education Plan (IEPs). IEPs are written plans developed by the IEP TEAM, including the parents of the student with the disability for whom the IEP is written. They are more involved than 504 Plans because in addition to the student’s specific disabilities and the specific environmental accommodations they have to identify the specific instructional modifications to the general curriculum that will be implemented to address the disability, and the specific special/regular educator or service provider responsible for implementing each of the environmental accommodations and instructional modifications included in the IEP. IEPs are updated annually as well. It is the responsibility of the special and regular educators, administrators, and service providers to thoroughly familiarize themselves with the provisions of each IEP for each of their students with disabilities throughout the school year.