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Students With Disabilities: Responsibilities and Opportunities As One Transitions from High School to College. Margaret Rose McDonnell Kathleen A. Rinehart. A Brief Refresher…. The IDEA – Applies from birth to age 21, or until the student receives the regular education diploma

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Students With Disabilities: Responsibilities and Opportunities As One Transitions from High School to College

Margaret Rose McDonnell

Kathleen A. Rinehart


A brief refresher
A Brief Refresher… Opportunities As One Transitions from High School to College

  • The IDEA –

    • Applies from birth to age 21, or until the student receives the regular education diploma

    • Schools have an obligation to conduct a “child find” to locate, identify and evaluate children suspected of needing special education and related services

    • A team of qualified individuals, including parent(s) and child, where appropriate, develops an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for the student


A brief refresher1
A Brief Refresher… Opportunities As One Transitions from High School to College

  • Provides access to the school’s general curriculum

  • Provides support and services in the least restrictive environment so that students can receive a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE)

  • The IEP is designed to enable students to obtain some educational benefit; to maximize the student’s potential

  • The IEP must be reviewed annually

  • The School is responsible to ensure that the IEP is appropriate and implemented

  • Parental consent is required for evaluations and the development of the first IEP; when student is 18, he/she has standing


A brief refresher2
A Brief Refresher… Opportunities As One Transitions from High School to College

  • US Department of Education monitors States

  • States monitor local education agencies

  • A written complaint with a State triggers an investigation

  • Complaints are managed by the Office for Civil Rights

  • Parent may request a due process hearing

  • Appeals are taken to State or federal courts

  • No monetary damages

  • Compensatory education as a remedy


A brief refresher3
A Brief Refresher… Opportunities As One Transitions from High School to College

  • The ADA/Section 504 –

    • No age limitation

    • Student is required to provide evaluative information regarding a disability at one’s own expense

    • Disability: A physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity

    • No “child find” obligation, but an institution must provide effective notice of the availability of reasonable accommodations

    • Institution decides eligibility for reasonable accommodation


A brief refresher4
A Brief Refresher… Opportunities As One Transitions from High School to College

  • Prohibition of unlawful discrimination based upon one’s disability

  • Student must be otherwise qualified to meet academic and technical standards in a program – with or without reasonable accommodation

  • The institution is not required to: provide personal services, lower its academic/program standards, or establish accommodations that create an undue burden

  • Institutions may require a student to ensure that reasonable accommodations provided are implemented and to notify responsible officials when they are not


A brief refresher5
A Brief Refresher… Opportunities As One Transitions from High School to College

  • Protections Unique to the IDEA –

    • Specially designed instruction via the IEP

    • Provision of related services, such as counseling, physical and speech therapy, transportation, supplementary aids in the form of personal care attendants and nursing services

    • Prohibition against the removal of students from school for disability-related misconduct

      • School must continue to provide education and related services so the student can make progress

      • Conduct of a functional behavioral assessment, when necessary

      • Modification of conduct codes to address the disability-related misconduct


A brief refresher6
A Brief Refresher… Opportunities As One Transitions from High School to College

  • Protections Unique to the ADA/Section 504 –

    • No unlawful discrimination

    • No retaliatory conduct in response to requests for reasonable accommodation or complaints for failure to abide by institutional policies and applicable law

    • Expected compliance with provisions requiring physical access to institutional facilities


Expectations recommendations and best practices
Expectations, Recommendations and Best Practices Opportunities As One Transitions from High School to College

  • Understand the legal differences between the IDEA and the ADA/Section 504

  • Parental vs. student expectations

    • Parents want to play an ongoing role

    • Students may resist reaching out for services, or may not appropriately advocate for themselves

  • Recognition of the need to identify the need for services as early as possible, provide required medical documentation where necessary

  • Understand the nature of what constitutes a reasonable accommodation


Expectations recommendations and best practices1
Expectations, Recommendations and Best Practices Opportunities As One Transitions from High School to College

  • Understand that, based upon the nature of one’s disability, a student may not be otherwise qualified for entry into certain academic programs and/or activities

  • Understand that the ADA/Section 504 typically is not operative outside the United States and may have an impact on one’s participation in certain study abroad programs and/or activities


Expectations recommendations and best practices2
Expectations, Recommendations and Best Practices Opportunities As One Transitions from High School to College

  • Understand that the institution has no obligation to provide personal services

  • Understand that qualification for financial aid in the form of loans or scholarships may be impacted if a student is unable to take a full course load

  • Understand the role of the institution’s Code of Conduct and that no Behavioral Management Plans will be developed


Expectations recommendations and best practices3
Expectations, Recommendations and Best Practices Opportunities As One Transitions from High School to College

  • Ensure that appropriate documentation is provided to the Director of Disability Services as soon as possible

  • Identify the courses/activities for which reasonable accommodations will be sought

  • Make sure that reasonable accommodations are sought on a semester basis

  • Understand what does or does not have to be shared with instructors/others on campus

  • Understand one’s rights as well as one’s responsibilities


Expectations recommendations and best practices4
Expectations, Recommendations and Best Practices Opportunities As One Transitions from High School to College

  • Examples of common postsecondary academic accommodations:

    • Priority registration

    • Note takers, lab assistants, readers, sign language, interpreters

    • Exam modifications, such as additional time for exams, private/quiet rooms, readers/scribes, use of computer/calculator

    • Texts in alternative format

    • Accessible classrooms


Expectations recommendations and best practices5
Expectations, Recommendations and Best Practices Opportunities As One Transitions from High School to College

  • Examples of common postsecondary nonacademic reasonable accommodations:

    • Access to campus transportation

    • Advanced registration for events or co-curricular activities on or off campus

    • Appropriate safety and security measures

    • Captioners or interpreters for University-sponsored events

    • Special housing requests

    • Appropriate special parking

    • Utilization of service animals

    • Accessible classrooms and University-sponsored event sites


  • QUESTIONS? Opportunities As One Transitions from High School to College


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