Parent/Student 504 & IEP Resources

Parent & Student Resources to Understand Differences in Learning


Open Dyslexic Font:

OpenDyslexic is a new open sourced font created to increase readability for readers with dyslexia. The typeface includes regular, bold, italic, and bold-italic styles. It is being updated continually and improved based on input from dyslexic users.

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The National Center for Learning Disabilities:

The National Center for Learning Disabilities

NCLD is committed to ensuring that all students with learning disabilities graduate from high school with a standard diploma prepared for college and the workplace.

Developmental Learning Solutions

DLS has served Santa Cruz, Monterey and Santa Clara Counties/Communities since 1993.

Phone: 831.429.5987
Fax: 831.429.5993

Monday–Thursday: 9:00 am-5:30 pm
Friday: 9:00 am-5:00 pm

Address: 700 Frederick Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95062

Bright Solutions for Dyslexia

Provides research-based information on dyslexia, free quarterly newsletter, lists of upcoming seminars and conferences.

International Dyslexia Association

Northern California Branch

*Two excellent resources are Overcoming Dyslexia by Sally Shaywitz and Basic Facts About Dyslexia and Other Reading Problems by Louisa Cook Moats and Karen E. Dakin.

Film: The recent documentary film, The Big Picture: Rethinking Dyslexia, provides revealing and inspiring accounts of the lives of children and adults living with dyslexia (including several well-known figures). The film is educational.

Linda Mood Bell

Information and programs for learning difficulties associated with dyslexia, hyperlexia, and autism

All Kinds of Minds

Dr. Mel Levine’s site dedicated to understanding differences in learning.

LD Online

LD Online- An interactive guide to learning disabilities for parents, teachers, and students.

Schwab Learning

Parent’s guide to helping children with learning differences and disabilities; includes articles, message boards, event calendar, and free publications.


A resource center for families of children with special needs.

National Coalition on Auditory Processing Disorders, Inc.

Spark Top

A website created for kids with learning difficulties.


Stories, information, and resources from the PBS special on learning differences.


What is the difference between an IEP and a 504 Plan?

IEP Defined

The Individualized Educational Plan (IEP) is a plan or program developed to ensure that a child who has a disability identified under the law and is attending an elementary or secondary educational institution receives specialized instruction and related services.

504 Plan Defined

The 504 Plan is a plan developed to ensure that a child who has a disability identified under the law and is attending an elementary or secondary educational institution receives accommodations that will ensure their academic success and access to the learning environment.

Subtle but Important Differences

Not all students who have disabilities require specialized instruction. For students with disabilities who do require specialized instruction, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) controls the procedural requirements, and an IEP is developed. The IDEA process is more involved than that of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and requires documentation of measurable growth.

For students with disabilities who do not require specialized instruction but need the assurance that they will receive equal access to public education and services, a document is created to outline their specific accessibility requirements.

Students with 504 Plans do not require specialized instruction, but, like the IEP, a 504 Plan should be updated annually to ensure that the student is receiving the most effective accommodations for his/her specific circumstances.

504 & SST Resource Articles

A parent's guide to Section 504 in public schools

College Advice for Students with a 504 Plan

Understanding the Student Study Team (SST)

Dyscalculia - Numberphile                  

TEDTALK: Sir Ken Robinson: Do schools kill creativity?

TEDTALK: Sir Ken Robinson: Educating the Heart and Mind

TEDTALK: Sir Ken Robinson on Passion

BBC Documentary: Horizon: The Creative Mind How Insight Works

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