- Learning Objectives
- Disability Related Civil Rights Laws: Section 504/ADA
- The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)
- Comparing Section 504/ADA to the IDEA
- Defining “Disability” in Federal Laws
- Student Responsibilities
- Institution and Faculty Responsibilities
- Physical and Cognitive Access
- The Role of Universal Design In Higher Education
Comparing Section 504/ADA to the IDEA
There are several significant differences between the IDEA and Section 504/ADA as related to services for students with disabilities. These include:
- At the K-12 level, a team of professionals makes decisions about and for the student. This may include the plan of study, notifying teachers about the disability, and arranging accommodations. At the postsecondary level, it is up to the student to self-disclose the disability to the institution, and, if necessary, to a faculty member. It is up to the student to sign up for the proper courses in a plan of study and to maintain satisfactory academic standing. It is up to the student to initiate and follow through on requests for accommodations.
- At the K-12 level, the school district must pay for all special education services and ensure that these are provided in an appropriate setting. At the postsecondary level, it is the responsibility of the student and/or his or her family to assume the costs for tuition and other related fees (e.g., student activity fees). If the institution provides services that go beyond those required under Section 504, it may charge additional fees. The institution cannot charge the student for reasonable accommodations and auxiliary aids.
- At the K-12 level, education may be modified and individualized according to the student’s needs. At the postsecondary level, course work does not need to be modified, and special education services are not provided.
The following chart highlights many of the key differences in the laws and the responsibilities of students and the institution. Note that at the college level, key responsibilities shift to the student.
Table 1. Responsibilities under IDEA versus Section 504/ADA
|Issue||Responsibility: K-12 Level||Responsibility: Postsecondary Level|
|Decision Making||Placement Team||Student|
|Transition Planning||Placement Team||Student|
Brinckerhoff, L.C., Shaw, S. F., & McGuire, J. M. (1993). Promoting postsecondary education for students with learning disabilities: A handbook for practitioners. Austin, TX: PRO-ED.
Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004, PL 108-446, 20 U.S.C. §§ 1400 et seq.
Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as Amended, Section 504, P. L. 93-112, 29 U.S.C. §794 (1998).
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