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Differences between High School and College Accessibility Services

High SchoolCollege
Services provided under IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act). Law protects student’s right to a “Free and Appropriate Public Education”. ADA & Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 apply. Law only protects student’s right to an accessible education program. Right of access; not right of education.
Individual Education Plan (I.E.P) and Section 504 Plan dictates services and accommodations. There is no education plan. Student must self identify and provide documentation of disability. The I.E.P and 504 Plan is not sufficient; must include diagnostic testing or other medical reports.
School is responsible to identify & evaluate disability at no cost to student or parent; involves teachers, counselors and parents. Student is responsible for obtaining evaluations and paying for costs. Colleges are not required to conduct testing and assessment of learning, psychological or medical disabilities.
Student is qualified for public education and services simply by being of the appropriate age and because he or she has a disability. “Otherwise qualified”, in college, means that the student must meet all entrance and academic requirements, whether he or she receives accommodations or not.
Assessment, personal care services, physical and other therapies are provided by school while the student is in school. Student is responsible for personal care services. Colleges are not required to provide personal attendants, personal or private. However, tutoring services normally available to persons without disabilities must be accessible to persons with disabilities who are otherwise qualified for those services.
Parents and teachers advocate for student. Student is responsible for self advocacy.
Teachers may be expected to learn all about the disability of a student. Faculty need only know that which applies to the accommodations that the student requests.
Teachers may modify curriculum and/or alter the pace of assignments. Grades may be modified based on curriculum. Instructors are not required to modify curriculum. Grades must reflect the quality of work submitted.
A team of educational specialists develop the education plan (I.E.P.) which is often shared with classroom teachers even before the student enters the classroom. AS never contacts an instructor without consent from the student. Student must talk to instructors about the accommodations that he or she requires. In addition, student has the civil right to refuse accommodations. If student does not request an accommodation, it is assumed that he or she does not want it.
Parents have access to student records and participate in the accommodation process. Parents do not have access to disability-related records unless student provides written consent.