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Chart differentiating between IDEA and ADA service


Comparison of the Requirements and Procedures of
the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA

Rights guaranteed by the law

IDEA (K-12)

ADA (College)

Free, appropriate public education (FAPE)

Prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability

Who is covered

Every child;

Concept of zero reject

Students who are "otherwise qualified"

Identification and evaluation of students with disabilities

 District is responsible for identifying students with disabilities, evaluating them, and covering costs

 College has no such responsibility.  Student must self-identify and provide appropriate documentation.  If an evaluation is needed, the expense is the student's responsibility.

Determining Services

 Individualized Education Plan (IEP) developed by team

Curriculum modifications and special programs are common.

Student must identify and request all accommodations.

 Academic adjustments that equalize opportunity for participation are required; Substantial modifications to curriculum and lowered standards are not required. 

Personal devices and services such as wheelchairs, hearing aids, and personal care attendants

 Provided by district if determined to be necessary (and included in IEP)

Colleges are not required to provide personal devices or services.

Role of parents

 Parents must be included in decision-making.

College students are over 18 and are considered adults.  Parent consultation is not required, and by law, university staff cannot speak to parents without student authorization.

Appeals process

 Right to due process as spelled out in the law

College grievance procedure, then file a complaint with the USDOE Office of Civil Rights