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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…
  • 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…
  • 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…
  • 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…
  • 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…
  • 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…
  • 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…
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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