School Age

What is an IEP?

An Individualized Education Plan (IEP) is a legal document for children who have been identified as needing specialized instructional services. It is a child’s personal plan developed by a team of school staff in collaboration with the parent and acts like a blueprint describing a child’s needs, related services, and how his or her progress will be measured.  For more information about the IEP process, click here.

For more information on school age children, click here.

What’s the difference between an IEP and 504 Plan? 

Section 504 is a part of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 that prohibits discrimination based upon disability. Section 504 is an anti-discrimination, civil rights statute that requires the needs of students with disabilities to be met as adequately as the needs of the non-disabled are met. It is generally thought of as an accommodation plan that is developed once a documented disability is determined to impact school performance. The plan is a collaborative effort between school personnel and parents and often requires medical documentation. An assessment of impact will likely be done prior to the plan’s development.

An Individualized Education Plan (IEP) will also document needed classroom accommodations but must include specialized instructional and related services. If the student does not require specialized instruction, the school district will likely recommend a 504 plan. Both documents are legal and binding and require participants’ signatures.

What is the Expanded Core Curriculum?

The Expanded Core Curriculum (ECC) outlines skill areas that support students who are blind or visually impaired as they pursue academic and social goals along with their sighted peers. There are nine areas to this essential curriculum. Each area should be considered and tailored to your child’s unique needs. Please follow the links below for descriptions on each component and what the ECC may look like for your child’s developmental age. For more information on the Expanded Core Curriculum, click here.

What kinds of classroom accommodations are available for my child?

Classroom accommodations for a student with vision impairment can vary widely depending on the age, grade, curriculum, cognitive level and technology skills of the child. Accommodations in the IEP document are included to insure that the student has access to the instruction and all teachers/staff are aware of how to adjust instructional presentation or materials to meet the specific needs of the student.