My child has an identified disability or medical diagnosis, but does not need intervention or specialized instruction. Now what?
In some cases, students with a diagnosis may not need specially designed instruction. In those situations, a child may just need a little extra time or a direction restated now and then. Maybe your child needs preferred seating close to the board for vision purposes? These are not intensive interventions by any means, and are considered accommodations. It is in those cases, where a student can qualify for a 504 plan rather than a formal IEP.
504 Plans originated from Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and they ensure that there will not be discrimination or exclusion from participation for an individuals with disabilities. The 504 plan is developed in a manner similar to an IEP with a “team approach” including families in the process while looking at gathered data. This plan may allow an adapted learning environment to accommodate or modify an environment as needed.
Examples where a 504 might be the best option: a student with a medical diagnosis, but does not need special education; a student who needs wheelchair ramps; a student who needs seating close to the front of the room; a student who needs materials in Braille; a student who needs a peanut free lunch environment; a student who needs a certain form of technology to assist learning, etc… The curriculum is not changed.