Not all students who have disabilities require specialized instruction.
The IDEA requires that measurable growth and progress towards written goals and objectives be documented.
For students with disabilities who do not require specialized instruction but need the assurance that they will receive equal access to public education and services, a document is created to outline their specific accessibility requirements. The purpose of Section 504 is to protect persons with disabilities against discrimination for reasons related to their disabilities.
While students with a 504 plan do not require specialized instruction, and specific goals and objectives are not necessarily outlines nor is data tracked, the plan should be reviewed annually to ensure that the student is receiving the most effective accommodations for his/her specific circumstances.
Unlike IDEA, Section 504 does not guarantee that a child with a disability will receive an individualized educational program that is designed to meet the child's individual educational needs.
Rather, it guarantees that accommodations will be made relative to their specific medical needs.
Eligibility for protections under Section 504 depends on the child in question having a physical or mental impairment which must substantially limit at least one major life activity.Major life activities include walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, reading, writing, performing math calculations, working, caring for oneself, and performing manual tasks.Section 504 requires an evaluation that draws information from a variety of sources.A child who receives Section 504 protections has fewer rights than the child who receives special education services under the IDEA.The child who receives special education services under the IDEA is protected under Section 504.Section 504 is designed to guarantee that children with disabilities will not be discriminated against.