Skip Navigation
Cape Fear Community College logo

Major Differences Between High School and Postsecondary Disability Services

Applicable Laws
High School Post Secondary
I.D.E.A. A.D.A.
Section 504, Rehabilitation Act Section 504, Rehabilitation Act
Required Documentation
High School Post Secondary
I.E.P. Varies depending on the Disability, and must include testing documentation
School provides evaluation at no cost to student Student must provide the evaluation at his own expense
School retests over time Student provides retesting
Student Role
High School Post Secondary
Student is identified by school Student self-identifies to Special Populations
School sets up accommodations Student is responsible for securing accommodations
Parental Role
High School Post Secondary
Access to student records No access to student records without student’s written consent
Participation in accommodations Student requests accommodations
Mandatory involvement Student is self-advocate*
High School Post Secondary
Modification of curriculum Not required to modify
Use of multi-sensory approach Not required. Lecture is predominant.
Weekly testing, mid-term, final, and graded assignments May test once or twice with few assignments
Attendance taken and reported Attendance often not taken but student can be dropped
after missing 10% (1 class)
High School Post Secondary
Grades modified based on curriculum Grades reflect the quality of work submitted
High School Post Secondary
Disruptive conduct may be accepted Students who are disruptive and unable to abide by the institution’s
code of conduct are deemed “not qualified” and can be dismissed
High School Post Secondary
I.D.E.A. is about Success A.D.A. is about Access
High School is mandatory and free Postsecondary is voluntary and expensive

A Word About the A.D.A.

The A.D.A. extends civil rights protection to persons with disabilities. A “person with a disability” is anyone with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.

Under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (public institutions are covered under Title II), students with documented disabilities may request accommodations that will enable them to participate in postsecondary education programs. A “qualified person with a disability” is defined as one who meets the requisite academic and technical standards required for admission or participation in the postsecondary institution’s programs.

Institutions are expected to give “reasonable accommodations”. Among the accommodations which postsecondary institutions can make are:

  • Removal of architectural barriers
  • Interpreters
  • Note takers
  • Assistive Technology
  • Extra time on tests and assignments (Time and a half in most cases)
  • Tape recorders

The emphasis of the ADA is on accessibility for those who wish to pursue education at the postsecondary level. There is no obligation on the part of a college to make fundamental changes in its courses for students with disabilities.

*Students with disabilities who complete high school will enter the work force or a postsecondary educational environment. Having attained the age of legal majority, they will be expected to exhibit self-advocacy and to communicate their own needs for reasonable accommodations in work or educational environments.

Wilmington Campus
411 North Front Street
Wilmington, NC 28401

North Campus
4500 Blue Clay Road
Castle Hayne, NC 28429

Burgaw Center
100 East Industrial Drive
Burgaw, NC 28425

Hours of Operation
Monday-Thursday: 7:30am to 5:30pm
Friday: 8:00am to 12:00pm

Accessibility Services

Cape Fear Community College does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, religion, political affiliation or age.