In case disabled students have access to the right tools to ensure that they receive the help they need to succeed, they can thrive in an education setting. Disabled students should have a 504 plan or an IEP (Individualized Education Program) on file with the school. Individuals with an IEP are often placed in special education classes so that they can receive instruction from a teacher who has been specially trained to help them meet their education goals in the United States, depending upon individual state regulations. Individuals with an IEP are often placed in special education classes so that they can receive instruction from a teacher who has been specially trained to help them meet their education goals. A 504 plan ensures that accommodations are made for certain student disabilities while they are on campus. the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act required that each disabled student have an Individualized Education Program on file with their school district, and that it is updated yearly in 2004. As well as their abilities, the IEP is a road map of what a student’s needs are.  It should be created with input from the student, their family and their teachers. 

Transitioning to adulthood education

The IEP will provide information such as academic achievements, cognitive development and how the student is functioning.  It will contain information on what the students’ needs are, and what accommodations are required for their continued success in a classroom environment. The IEP will also include transition, social and academic goals of the student. Students who are 16 years of age or older will be required to include transition planning in their IEP. Whether it is attending vocational training, college or going directly into a job, the transition plan will include concrete steps that will help individuals plan for their exit from high school. This plan will also include independent living goals, which includes handling finances, employment and living arrangements. Each state in the U.S. determines how a 504 plan is implemented in a school environment. “No otherwise qualified individual with a disability in the United States... shall, solely by reason of her or his disability, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance according to section 504 of the Americans with the Disabilities Act.  The 504 plan levels the playing field for individuals who have disabilities that don’t necessarily qualify them for special education. In order to qualify for the plan, students must in essence have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities including learning and behavior, been documented as having such an impairment OR be regarded as having such impairment. It is important for disabled students in high school to begin thinking about their future if they will be living independently. They should discuss what they want to do after graduation, and begin planning how they will work to achieve their goals.