IEP vs 504 and Accommodations
What are IEPs?
IEPs, also known as Individualized Education Plans, cover students who qualify for special education. IEPs focus explicitly on the student and what the student is learning. 504 Plans, on the other hand, are for students who need accommodations (e.g. extended time, reduced distraction testing center, note-taker, audiobooks, text-to-speech functions, etc.) but don't qualify for special education, such as specialized classes or aides (as in IEPs). 504s focus on how the student is learning.
Many times, students who need IEPs will not be granted these services the first time around, and the school will oftentimes try to delay this request or "forget" about it. Parents and students should not back down in this case—the key is to obtaining an IEP is to stay consistent in advocating for the student's learning needs.