Disability Services for High School and College

The following information provided by Southwestern Michigan College is for prospective and/or incoming high school students with disabilities. Another valuable resource is information regarding college expectations developed by Western NY Collegiate Consortium and Disability Advocates. See the link under Helpful Links.

High School College
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) - is about success. Americans with Disabilities Act ADA and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 - are about providing access. College is required to provide access to information and provide a way for students to demonstrate what they have learned.
Allows fundamental modification of program and curriculum. No fundamental modifications of curriculum requirements are allowed. College may only make reasonable adjustments and supports. Students are expected to meet the same requirements as all other students.
Education is a right and must be provided in an appropriate environment, determined for the individual student Education at the post-secondary level is not a right; students must often meet certain admission criteria to qualify for acceptance or financial aid.
School districts are responsible for identifying students with disabilities Students must request services and provide documentation of disability
The school district must provide free evaluations to identify disability.. If the student does not have an evaluation, they must provide one. It is not the responsibility of the college.
Students are supported by parents and teachers. Student is responsible for seeking assistance from Disability Services Office/Special Populations Services and must give permission if they wish a parent to be allowed to communicate with college staff. Student becomes an adult in the eyes of the college and Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) applies to all students.
Guidance counselors or school staff schedule support services for students The student must make arrangements for support services. Personal care services are not provided by colleges.
Teachers often take time to remind students of assignments and due dates. College faculty expect students to read, save, and consult the course syllabus (outline); this tells the student exactly what is expected, the course attendance policy, when material is due, and how it will be graded.