Academic Skills Lab

Laws

Laws: Different Laws Apply

IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 are very different, leading to miscommunication between college and high school staff who have studied only the statutes applying to their institution. In high schools, for example, under IDEA, special education program procedures may apply primarily to Learning Disabilities. High school students who are in wheelchairs, may fall under a subpart of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and be referred to as their "504" clients. They will develop IEPs (Individual Education Plans) for these students simply because that is the procedure they have been required to follow under their IDEA mandated program. However, Section 504 does not create a requirement for IEPs in either high school or post-secondary institutions, nor are post-secondary institutions required to follow IEP plans created in high schools under IDEA.

The misunderstanding comes from the practice of assuming that the "504 Plan" developed at a high school will be binding at a college or university, since different aspects of Section 504 apply to high schools and colleges.

High School

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (See Subpart D)
Americans with Disabilities Act
Civil Rights Restoration Act

Post Secondary

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
Americans with Disabilities Act
Civil Rights Restoration Act