Several laws make it easier for disabled students to attend college, including the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and Section 504 Part E of the Rehabilitation Act of 1975.
Purpose of the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act
The IDEA Act improves access to free public education for disabled school-aged children. This law applies to disabled youth between ages 2 and 21 and offers access to special education services, such as tailored activities in music, arts, and gym and specific instruction in the classroom and/or at home.
Funding Available For Families
The IDEA act also authorizes some federal funding for educational institutions. To comply, schools must meet six requirements, including the creation of an Individualized Education Plan for each disabled student. There is no specific cap for individual students.
How To Apply
The parent or the school district can request an evaluation if they suspect the child has a disability or will need special education.
Parents should submit requests to the school district, and the school district must receive consent from the parents if they suggest an evaluation.
For students to qualify for assistance under IDEA, their disability must fall into a specific category:
- Learning disabilities.
- Impairments related to language or speech.
- Other impairments.
Student Rights Under Section 504 Part E Of Rehabilitation Act
Section 504 Part E of the Rehabilitation Act is a civil rights protection for disabled students that prevents discrimination against disabled students. Failure to comply can result in penalties.
If students feel like they are being discriminated against, they should file a claim with the Department of Education (DoE), If the DoE fails to resolve the issue, the student will need to file a lawsuit.
Qualifying for disability-related education services is easier under Section 504. A student must only meet the definition of “handicapped,” meaning that an individual is dealing with a substantially limiting mental and physical impairment. Unlike the IDEA, no Individual Education Plan (IEP) is required, nor is parental consent.
The IDEA and Section 504 Part E make it easier for disabled individuals to receive an education by providing easier access to the classroom. Know your rights under these laws so that you can plan your college education.