Youth and Transition
Youth with disabilities should grow up expecting to work and succeed. Whether you are a student or parent, navigating resources can be challenging. Use this as a guide to help stay on track to be better prepared transitioning to becoming an engaged member of the workforce.
+ What Is an IEP?
What is an Individualized Education Plan (IEP)
The IEP is a written legal document that maps out special education instruction, supports, and services designed to meet the child’s specific needs to support a child’s success. It measures a student’s progress.
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)
This plan and the program are covered by theI IDEA. IEPs are part of public education and are given to eligible students who attend public school, which includes charter schools and cyber charter schools. (If your child is in a private or parochial school, they may be able to get special education through an Individual Services Plan.)
+ What Is a 504 Plan?
Not all children need special education or individualized instruction but may still need supports or services at school. 504 Plans are formal plans designed to help children with disabilities learn alongside their peers by removing barriers to learning. The purpose of a 504 plan is to give equal access to the general education curriculum. 504 Plans are not the same as IEPs, as they are covered by different laws and work differently. A 504 plan is covered under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which is a civil rights law. While schools typically create written 504 plans, they are not required to and there are no set rules for what a 504 plan should look like or include; the only item schools are required to put in writing are their policies on 504 plans.
+ Can I / my child have both an IEP and a 504 Plan?
It is possible, but it may be unlikely to need both. Everything in a 504 plan can be included in an IEP. The IEP can also provide services and supports that would not be available in a 504 plan. If you / your child qualifies for an IEP, there is typically no reason to also have a 504 plan.
- Determining Eligibility for Special Education through Philadelphia School District
- What is Extended School Year (ESY)?
- Charter Schools and Cyber Charter Schools Obligations Under IDEA and Section 504
- PaTTAN's Resource Guide for Charter and Cyber Schools
- Charter Schools Legal Information
- Know Your Rights in Charter Schools
- What is Equitable Participation?
- Philadelphia Parents Resource
- PA Department of Education
- Education Law Center Back to School 2019 Guide
- Education Law Center Fact Sheets