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High School to College

Differences between high School and college: IDEA vs. ADA

Secondary school Higher education
Education is a right under IDEA and must be provided in an appropriate environment to all individuals. Education is not a right. Students must meet admission criteria defined under ADA as "otherwise qualified."
School district is responsible to identify a student's disability. Students must self-identify.
School district provides free testing, evaluation, and transportation to program. Student must provide current and appropriate documentation as defined by the college. If documentation from high school is not adequate, student pays for additional testing and transport to program.
Transition planning and timelines exist to clarify students' vision, identify programming choices, and coordinate appropriate coursework options. Students make all coursework selections.
School district develops IEP to define educational supports and services under special education. No IEP/special education in college.
IEP Team (including student) determines IEP supports and services that will be provided. Student is responsible to contact faculty and advocate for services.*
Access to general curriculum, necessary modifications, and a variety of appropriate accommodations are available. No fundamental alterations to the curriculum are made. Academic accommodations and modifications are available based on student's documented disability.
Personal services for medical or physical disability are required. No personal services are required. (n.d.) Differences between high school and college: IDEA vs. ADA. Retrieved March 12, 2009, from     

I have an IEP/504 Plan. Why isn’t that good enough for college?

An IEP or 504 Plan addresses students' needs in the K-12 educational program. Postsecondary education is a totally different arena. Almost everything about the postsecondary system is different from what the student experienced before. This includes how a college may address your needs for accessing its educational program and the information it needs to accomplish this.

While the IEP or 504 Plan may provide the Office of Accessibility Services with some of what it will need, additional information may be required. (n.d.) FAQ’s – Parents. Retrieved March 12, 2009, from

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