Individual Educational Plan

What is right for your child?


An Individualized Education Plan (IEP) is guided by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and provides special education and related services to a student who is identified as having a disability that negatively impacts her ability to receive academic instruction.

A student who receives special education services is entitled to modification of curriculum, classroom accommodations, specialized instruction, and related services such as occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech therapy and/or counseling.

A student with an IEP is re-evaluated every three years to determine continued eligibility. However, a parent can request a re-evaluation sooner than three years, but not less than one year. An IEP is also reviewed annually.


A 504 Accommodation Plan is guided by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to ensure that a student with a disability has access to accommodations that improve academic functioning. To qualify for a 504 Plan, a student must have a diagnosis for a physical or emotional disability, or impairment (e.g., ADHD) that restricts one or more major life activities (e.g., attention, class participation). A 504 Accommodation Plan can also provide extended time or small group administration for statewide testing for your child. It can allow for accommodations like frequent breaks, fidgets, or modified homework assignments.

Note that a student is not able to receive specialized instruction or related services, such as occupational therapy, speech therapy or physical therapy – through a 504 Accommodation Plan.


IEP plans under IDEA cover students who qualify for Special Education. Section 504 covers students who don’t meet the criteria for special education but who still require some accommodations. Both ensure that students with disabilities have access to a free and appropriate public education.

Section 504 is a civil rights law, designed to protect the rights of individuals with disabilities in programs and activities that receive federal assistance from the Department of Education. A student is eligible as long he/she currently has or has had a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits a major life activity.


The landmark civil rights law, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was passed in 1990. This is a legislation that acknowledges and protects the right to access of individuals with disabilities and under Title II of this law, public schools are covered as one of America’s prominent public entities. Since they are covered by the ADA, schools must then adhere to basic ADA requirements. Even though a lot of schools were built before the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act, this doesn’t excuse old buildings from having to adhere to these guidelines. If anything, the ADA points out how they must be accessible since they were built during a time when such considerations for public accommodations were not yet enshrined in the law.

Program accommodations and modifications are available to children who receive services under IDEA or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. Whether a student has an IEP or a 504 plan, the school must provide appropriate accommodations for accessibility to meet the student’s needs as highlighted in his or her education plan. Examples of accommodations include, but are not limited to: equipment, furniture/desk/table, ramps, elevators, adaptive seating/chairs, wheeled mobility, assistive technology.


  • Large Print Textbooks
  • Textbooks For at Home Use
  • Additional Time for Assignments
  • A Locker with Adapted Lock
  • Review of Directions
  • Review Sessions
  • Use Of Mnemonics
  • Have Student Restate Information
  • Provision of Notes or Outlines
  • Concrete Examples
  • Adaptive Writing Utensils
  • Support Auditory Presentations with Visuals
  • Use of a Study Carrel
  • Assistance in Maintaining Uncluttered Space
  • Weekly Homeschool
  • Communication Tools (Notebook, Daily Log, Phone Calls or Email Messages)
  • Peer or Scribe Notetaking
  • Space for Movement or Breaks
  • Study Sheets and Teacher Outlines
  • Extra Visual and Verbal Cues and Prompts
  • Lab and Math Sheets with Highlighted Instructions
  • Graph Paper to Assist in Organizing or Lining up Math Problems
  • Use of Tape Recorder for Lectures
  • Use of Computers and Calculators
  • Books on Tape
  • Graphic Organizers
  • Quiet Corner or Room to Calm
  • Down and Relax when Anxious
  • Preferential Seating
  • Alteration of the Classroom Arrangement
  • Reduction of Distractions
  • Answers to be Dictated
  • Hands on Activities
  • Use of Manipulatives
  • No Penalty for Spelling Errors or Sloppy Handwriting
  • Follow a Routine/Schedule
  • Alternate Quiet and Active Time
  • Teach Time Management Skills
  • Rest Breaks
  • Verbal and Visual Cues Regarding Directions and Staying on Task
  • Agenda Book and Checklists
  • Daily Check-in with Case Manager or Special Education Teacher
  • Adjusted Assignment Timelines
  • Visual Daily Schedule
  • Varied Reinforcement Procedures
  • Immediate Feedback
  • Working Progress Check
  • Personalized Examples


  • Answers to be Dictated
  • Frequent Rest Breaks
  • Additional Time
  • Oral Testing
  • Untimed Tests
  • Choice of Test Format (Multiple Choice, Essay, True/False)
  • Alternate Ways to Evaluate (Projects or Oral Presentations Instead of Written Tests)
  • Accept Short Answers
  • Open Book or Open Note Tests
  • Read Test and Directions to Student
  • Provide Study Guides Prior to Tests
  • Highlight Key Directions
  • Test in Alternative Site
  • Use of Calculator or Word Processor
  • Extra Credit Option
  • Pace Long Term Projects
  • Preview Test Procedures
  • Simplified Test Wording; Rephrased Test Questions and/or Directions


  • Allow Outlining Instead of Writing for an Essay or Major Project
  • Use of Alternative Books or Materials on the Topic Being Studied
  • Computerized Spellcheck Support
  • Word Bank of Choices for Answers to Test Questions
  • Provision of Calculator and/or Number Line for Math Tests
  • Film or Video Supplements in Place of Reading Text
  • Reworded Questions in Simpler Language
  • Projects Instead of Written Reports
  • Highlighting Important Words or Phrases In Reading Assignments
  • Modified Workload or Length of Assignments/Tests
  • Modified Time Demands
  • Pass/No Pass Option
  • Modified Grades Based on IEP


  • Breaks Between Tasks
  • Cue Expected Behavior
  • Daily Feedback to Student
  • Have Contingency Plans
  • Use Deescalating Strategies
  • Use Positive Reinforcement
  • Use Proximity/Touch Control
  • Use Peer Supports and Mentoring
  • Model Expected Behavior by Adults
  • Have Parent Sign Homework
  • Have Parent Sign Behavior Chart
  • Set and Post Class Rules
  • Chart Progress
  • Maintain Progress Data



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