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Students with Disabilities Transition into College. Prepared by the ND Colleges and Universities Disability Services Council February 2007. The Laws are Different…. The laws that govern post secondary are civil rights statutes which prohibit discrimination on the basis of disability

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Students with disabilities transition into college

Students with Disabilities Transition into College

Prepared by the ND Colleges and Universities

Disability Services Council

February 2007

The laws are different
The Laws are Different…

  • The laws that govern post secondary are civil rights statutes which prohibit discrimination on the basis of disability

    • Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973

      • Mandates “equal access” to education programs that receive federal dollars

    • Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA)

      • Extends protection from educational programs receiving federal dollars to the private sector

Ada definition of a disability
ADA Definition of a Disability

“…a mental or physical impairment that substantially limits an individual in one or more major life activities.” (e.g., walking, seeing, learning)

Idea vs section 504 and ada
IDEA vs. Section 504 and ADA

What does “equal access” mean?

Colleges universities provide
Colleges & Universities Provide…

  • academic accommodations - provisions made in HOW a student accesses or demonstrates learning….

  • …notacademic modifications - changes in WHAT a student is expected to learn and demonstrate

The services are different

Purpose of the Accommodation

To remove a barrier that limits access to the learning environment/activity

Determination of the Accommodation

Based on Functional Limitations of the disability

In discussion with student, identify specific accommodations

Cannot fundamentally alter course or program

Made on case by case and course by course basis

Examples of Accommodations

Print and audio format


Extended time

Distraction reduced environment

Texts in alternate format

Note taker

ASL interpreters

The Services Are Different…

Student rights are different
Student Rights Are Different…

  • Students have the right to:

    • Equal access to

      • Courses

      • Programs

      • Services

      • Jobs

      • Activities, and

      • Facilities

    • Reasonable and appropriate accommodations

    • Academic adjustments, and/or

    • Auxiliary aids

Rights are different
Rights Are Different…

  • Colleges have the right to:

    • Request current documentation of disability

    • Select appropriate accommodations, and/or auxiliary aids for each student on a case by case, course by course basis. Determination based on discussions with student and functional limitations described in documentation

    • Deny a request if the need is not supported by documentation.

      • “Student’s and Colleges’ Rights and Responsibilities”

Responsibilities are different
Responsibilities Are Different…

  • Students have the responsibility to:

    • Meet the college program’s essential technical standards

    • Self disclose the disability in a timely manner when requesting accommodations

    • Provide documentation that states the diagnosis, describes the functional limitations and justifies specific accommodation needs

Responsibilities are different1
Responsibilities Are Different…

  • Colleges have the responsibility to:

    • Respond to accommodation requests in a timely manner

    • Refuse accommodations that –

      • Pose a direct threat to the health & safety of others

      • Constitute a substantial change to the essential course elements

      • Substantially alter how the services are provided

      • Poses undue financial hardship or administrative burden to the institution

Post secondary institutions are not required to
Post-Secondary Institutions Are NOT Required To:

  • Reduce or waive essential requirements of a course or program

  • Conduct testing of learning, psychological or medical disabilities

  • Provide personal attendants

  • Provide personal or private tutors

  • Prepare Individual Education Program (IEP)

Confidentiality is different
Confidentiality Is Different…

  • Individuals considered adults – FERPA protection

    • college personnel cannot discuss disability without written permission

  • Third-party medical records HIPPA

    • college personnel cannot release third-party medical documentation

Two year four year institutions are different

Two Year

Open Enrollment

Provide preparatory/remedial courses and curriculums

Provide academic support services through labs and peer study groups

Four Year

Admission requirements-exceptions to requirements

No preparatory/remedial courses unless part of a federal grant program

Varied support structures

Two Year & Four Year Institutions are Different…

Resources are different
Resources are Different…

  • Vocational Rehabilitation (“VR”)

    • Students on IEP or 504 Plans should be referred to VR in JUNIOR YEAR.

      • VR may be able to assist with college costs, equipment, or assistive technology when related to the disability and the career goal.

Financial needs are different
Financial Needs are Different…

  • Students are responsible to secure funding to pay for college education

    • Possible Funding Sources

      • Federal Financial Aid (FAFSA)

      • Scholarships for Students with Disabilities

      • Nat’l Clearinghouse on Post-Secondary Ed for Individuals with Disabilities

Putting it all together
Putting it All Together

  • Students need to become SELF ADVOCATES.

  • Know:

    • How the disability affects them

    • Accommodations needed

    • Differences in the laws, and

    • Rights and responsibilities as adults and college students

  • Colleges provide equal access to programs and facilities. They DO NOT ensure student success.

  • Student must self disclose disability to the disability services offices and initiate accommodation request.