Oct 30, 2018


1 comment

My daughter is hard of hearing and is in the third grade. last year the previous School exited her out of her IEP for speech however left her as the primary of art of hearing. They opened her up a 504 plan which was never followed. She's at a new school this year and the school psychologist said she cannot have an IEP since she is not behind and deaf and hard of hearing services cannot stand alone. She says that each School District can make up their own rules regarding deaf and hard-of-hearing and what can and cannot stand alone is this true?

I'm just curious if because she is hard of hearing does she automatically qualify for an IEP regardless of if she's behind or not as schooling does get more difficult past 3rd grade. Also if she does not qualify for an IEP and is put on a 504 but is not followed what is the process for that?


Nov 7, 2018




In order to qualify for an IEP as an individual with exceptional needs under the “hearing impaired” eligibility criteria, the assessments must demonstrate that the student’s impairment adversely affects her educational performance and requires special education. This means that a child has either a permanent or fluctuating hearing loss that impairs her ability to process information presented through amplified hearing channels and which also adversely affects educational performance. 34 C.F.R. Sec. 300.7(c) (3); 5 C.C.R. Sec. 3030(a).


So, it is true that an adverse effect on education such that a child needs specialized instruction is a requirement for IEP eligibility. Do you have any evidence that such an adverse impact has or is occurring with your daughter’s education? If there is, and she needs specialized instruction to benefit from her education, then she would qualify under this category and services would have to be implemented under an IEP.


A 504 plan is more of an accommodation plan. A 504 plan applies when a child needs special services and program modifications to reasonably accommodate the student’s condition so that her needs are met as adequately as the needs of students without disabilities. So section 504 protections are available to students who can be regarded in a functional sense as “handicapped,” i.e., students who have a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits a major life activity (such as learning), has a record of such an impairment, or is regarded as having such an impairment. [34 C.F.R. Sec. 104.3(j).]


So, rather than requiring specialized instruction for a child to benefit from her education (which an IEP requires), a 504 plan simply requires that a child’s disability impacts a major life activity (such as learning).


That being said, however, once a district acknowledges that a child needs an accommodation plan to access their education, they must follow it. There is a due process forum to resolve 504 disputes, or a parent can file a complaint with the office of civil rights.

A helpful resource on this topic is located at


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