What is the Education 504 Plan and if It can be Online?

Article by Vera Mirzoyan / Updated at .30 Aug 2023
6 min read
What is the Education 504 Plan and if It can be Online?


Have you ever heard about the education 504 plan? Wonder about what it is? Here we are; you will get the answers to your concerns.


Education 504 Plan: Definition


This is a prototype - a scheme focused on supporting people with disabilities, removing the barriers to learning, and providing equal access for all learners.

Children who have certain learning or teaching issues but do not need special education might qualify for a 504 plan. These plans are designed for students with disabilities who need supports in order to learn alongside their peers. 504 plans aren’t part of special education. They are covered by the Rehabilitation Acts, which is a civil rights law that protects people with disabilities from discrimination. The purpose of the 504 plans is to remove barriers to learning. The plans make changes to the environment, to the instruction, as well as to the way the curriculum is presented. Students often get a 504 plan after being denied eligibility for special education. Parents can also request a 504 plan for their children.

A student might have an evaluation because of trouble completing tests and writing assignments. The results might reveal a slow processing speed. Still, there is an issue getting in the way of the student’s performance in school. In this case, the student does not need special instruction but does need support. So, the school might recommend extended time or note-taking services.


Education 504 Plan Definition


There is no standardized template or form for 504 plans, but the plans should include specific accommodations, supports, and services. The material to learn is not changed, but the way of learning is changed to remove all the barriers and provide accessibility to all the learners. 


The Difference between IEP and 504 Plan


Although many people confuse IEP (Individualized Education Program) with the 504 plan, there are a lot of differences between them. The first and most fundamental is that they are governed by different laws. An IEP is governed by special education law, while 504 is governed under a civil rights law. This makes a difference in what kinds of services and how an IEP plan and 504 plan come together.

To qualify for an IEP, one has to have one of 13 specified conditions or disabilities that are included in the law. For instance, a specific learning disability, which would be something like dyslexia, would be a condition that a child would qualify for an IEP under. Having one of those 13 identified disabilities isn’t enough to make sure the child gets an IEP. Whatever is going on with the child, whatever that disability is, also has an effect on their performance in the classroom, and that’s really important to know because sometimes parents think that having a disability qualifies for an IEP, but you also need to make sure that it’s making a difference. It has what is called educational impact - adverse impact - in the classroom for how the child is learning.

On the other hand, for a 504 plan, a child needs to have a disability that is getting in the way of their learning in the general education classroom. The difference is not that he needs specialized instruction; it’s that they need some changes to get benefit from their education the same way as other kids in the same educational environment. As we have already discussed above, these changes are mainly related to the environment (very often called accommodations). An example is that a child may need extra time to accomplish the task.

Some people are concerned that a 504 plan is not so good as the IEP. And the truth of the matter is that a 504 plan or an IEP can be meet the child’s needs. It just depends on how well it’s put together. A well-written, well-implemented plan that everybody knows what is going to be happening and in place and is working on it can be very helpful for a child who does not need that specialized instruction. As long as there are a lot of follow-throughs and everybody’s checking in to make sure it’s working well, a 504 plan can be very helpful for kids in the classroom.


Difference between IEP and 504 Plan


Key Takeaways

  • An IEP is governed by special education law
  • A 504 plan is governed by civil rights law
  • A 504 plan covers kids with disabilities who do not require specialized instruction


Is Education 504 Plan Possible to Implement Online?


These days when daily life is converting into the online environment, many industries are implemented through digital platforms. Education sharing is one of the fields that is possible to fully realize through online channels from the comfort zone. Of course, there are some challenges or barriers, such as:

  • It takes longer for the child to learn new things, steeper learning curve.
  • Cannot see or hear enough well.
  • The point of endurance: Classes are too frequent or too long.
  • Distractions, focus, need for pre-teaching or re-teaching, need for pull-out or smaller group.
  • The Sensory Issues: too bright, too loud, too much conflicting data to process.
  • Processing Issues


Virtual Learning Environment for the 504 Plan


Now we are going to discuss several points that will help to set potential learners of the 504 plan up for success. Everything starts with technology and ergonomics. Here we are!

Difference between IEP and 504 Plan

An essential point is to use online learning features. Use different teaching portals. During the Covid19 pandemic, Zoom became very popular in this field. However, this is not the best possible solution. You need to manage the overall teaching process, while this tool does not offer similar tools and functionality to make every educational process come true.

You may need an opportunity to publish and sell online courses from a personal platform. This is a great advantage for those people who are interested in creating online course material once and selling it throughout the time. Many people use such courses to support their teaching programs. They send it to the learners as additional support. You may also need to operate a blog, create quizzes with automated checking tools, award certificates, and make use of other similar tools.

Of course, you may also organize webinars and live lessons. In such cases, take into consideration the lighting and noise optimum so that there won’t be any distractions. Make sure you have an Internet connection that will not disappoint the learners.


Ready to Start Today?


As we have already identified, eLearning is a growing industry and it is the future of education. The education 504 plan is also possible to implement through online channels. It will provide the learners an opportunity to learn from their comfortable places, without the difficulty of arriving at specific physical locations, and so on. If you want to make such an opportunity be yours, you should start today and let your career success come. These days it will be easy for you to choose one of the most useful eLearning platforms to start with. Just identify and take into account what you need to consider when choosing an eLearning platform and you will easily find a platform that best fits your needs and requirements.

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