After graduating from high school, some students with disabilities will decide to pursue a post secondary education. If you are a parent of one of these students here are some factors that will help you and your child navigate through the process.
The college requirement established by Section 504 or Title II differs from those enforced in high school. Post-secondary schools must allow for adjustments to students with disabilities to prevent discrimination that may result from their disabilities. All colleges must work toward providing equal service and accommodations for disable students. However, the entire burden of arrangement for academic or faculty adjustments falls on the students not on the college or university.
Post-secondary schools cannot deny any persons with disabilities. Conversely, when applying for admission an applicant does not have to disclose his disabilities. Nevertheless, if seeking academic adjustments, applicants should consider disclosing all disabilities. The adjustments colleges and universities will make are as follows: priority registration, extend text time, lighter class load, course substitution, note takers, sign language interpretation, dorm room accommodation and other service based on individual’s needs. Keep in mind these adjustments are available only upon documentation of disabilities. The post-secondary school may not accept the high school documentation and may demand a new assessment. Getting new evaluation will be an expense incurred by the applicant. The cost for the assessment maybe free or reduced if the applicant qualifies for state exemption.
Becoming a college student is a process, attending as a student with disabilities extend the process. However, once you know your rights you become empowered as you go through the admissions procedures. Visit http://www.ed.gov/ocr for more information and insight into the challenges of become a college student with disabilities.