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Transition Information

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 an evaluation at no cost to student Student must provide the evaluation at his own expense
School retests over time Student provides retesting


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

Most Important Differences in Summary

High School Post Secondary
I.D.E.A. is about Success A.D.A. is about Access
High School is mandatory and free Postsecondary education 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
  • Notetakers
  • 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 an 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 workforce 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.

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