1. How is college different from high school?
When entering the University, fundamental changes occur regarding students with disabilities. All students attending public school have a legal entitlement to an education and the right to a high school diploma, regardless of a disability (IDEA). The student must also receive an education in the least restrictive environment possible. But a student with a disability might sometimes be separated from peers for special attention. And sometimes parents and teachers must work together, sharing in the responsibility of helping the student achieve academic success.
In higher education, your student has a civil right to access to education, and an equal opportunity to obtain a college degree (see Disability Law). The fundamental principle at work is the assumption of integration and that the student is solely responsible for her/his own actions--achieving success or experiencing failure.
2. What is meant by "reasonable accommodation?"
Reasonable accommodations are made to provide equal access for qualified individuals with disabilities. Accommodations are designed to the functional limitations of an individual on a given task. Students with disabilities must, with or without accommodation, meet the academic standards of the University. They must demonstrate mastery of material.
3. What is meant by "otherwise qualified?"
Students with disabilities are required to demonstrate, with or without reasonable accommodation, that they meet all the admissions standards.
4. What is meant by "with or without reasonable accommodation?"
Students with disabilities are expected to perform at the same level that their academic and professional programs expect of all students. Students with disabilities might meet that level by using reasonable academic accommodations. Civil rights laws do not mandate a safety net. The University will strive to "level the playing field," but, ultimately, the student's work must be their own and of satisfactory quality.
5. Who will manage my student's educational services?
At the University level, students manage their educational services. Students have the right to seek out or refuse services. Parents can help students develop the necessary self advocacy skill while still in high school. Encourage your student to be an active participant in her/his IEP meetings. Process the outcome of the IEP meeting with your student. Your student should know her/his specific diagnosis, how it affects her/his ability to learn, and how accommodations help her/him access the classroom.
6. Why can't you disclose any information about my student's services?
Under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1976 (FERPA), only the student has the right to access his/her records upon request. This means that parents or guardians do not have a legal right to access their student's grades, transcripts, or any information concerning the student's provided through the DRC.
Although records are confidential, students may sign a release of information form that gives the institution permission to disclose information to the parent or guardian. The only time a student's record may be disclosed with out written consent would be to comply with a subpoena, or in an emergency situation that threatens the health and safety of the student or another individual.
This page was last updated on: August 20, 2013