Do students in Special Education classes (IDEA) or who had a 504 plan in high school automatically receive the same accommodations and services as they did in high school?
The laws governing mandated accommodations for students with disabilities are different at the post-secondary level (colleges and universities) than K-12. In some cases, the accommodations students receive in high school may be the same, but some accommodations may not be reasonable and appropriate at a college level. This is why each student’s documentation is reviewed and a new accommodation plan is discussed with the disability services staff.
The relevant laws include IDEA in K-12 environments and ADAA in post-secondary environments. Below is a brief comparison of the two.
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
- Applies to individuals with disability in K-12. IEP plan
- Guarantees free, appropriate public education
- Provides for special education and related services
- Does not apply to post-secondary education
Americans with Disability Act Amended
- Applies to all persons with a disability. It is a civil rights law.
- Prohibits discrimination.
- Individuals must be “Otherwise Qualified” and must be able to meet the academic, technical and essential functions of the university and program of study
- Focuses on providing access
What role can parents have in requesting accommodations in college?
A student who is 18 years old or older is legally recognized as an adult. As an adult, the student must self identify to Disability Services and request accommodations. Accommodation requests will only be accepted from the student, not from his or her parents. It is often the case when transitioning to college that parents ask to be included in the first appointment with Disability Services. With the student’s approval, this can be very helpful.
Additional information may be found my visiting:
US Department of Education (www.ed.gov): A Transition Guide to Post-Secondary Education and Employment for Students and Youth with Disabilities
National Joint Committee on Learning Disabilities (https://njlcd.org): Considerations for Transition from High School to Postsecondary Education