CETL—For Prospective Students & Families

The Student's New Role

It's a whole new world! All services and arrangements for accommodations start with, YOU, the student. In the secondary setting, services were implemented by a team of educators and parents with an aim towards promoting your success.

In the post-secondary setting, the responsibility shifts. You must seek out assistance (i.e., self-identifying) by contacting disability service offices, such as CETL, to arrange access.

This is a fundamental change in the way the you relate to instructors and advisers; as a college student, you will now initiate all services and accommodations.

Ways in which Students With Disabilities are accommodated
differ significantly between Secondary and Post-secondary Level
Secondary focus is to promote SUCCESS Post-secondary focus is to provide ACCESS
The Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act is implemented at the secondary school level with an aim toward success for all students entitled to a Free and Appropriate Education (FAPE) at their Local Education Agency (LEA). The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) as well as Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act guides college-level accommodation policy with an aim towards access for “otherwise qualified” students based on the colleges’ admission criteria
Modification of instruction and curriculum are commonly provided in response to student learning needs Through an interactive interview process, reasonable accommodations are identified to ensure equal access and participation. Essential elements of the course objectives are not modified.
The LEA is responsible for identifying a student’s disability, determining eligibility for services and implementing appropriate accommodations The student identifies their request for services to disability office, and provides documentation that verifies eligibility for accommodations specific to a functional limitation
Cost of evaluations are borne by the LEA Cost of evaluations are borne by the student
Individual Education Plans or 504 Plans are created to guide the students’ instruction and mandate services Higher Education institutions do not develop comparable individual education plans
Teachers and parents arrange services and assistance for student Student must initiate request for services and arrange required accommodations
School-based services based on demonstrated need are put in place to promote success, such as:
  • Special education classes
  • Co-teaching and resource room
  • Teaching assistants or personal aides
  • Speech/OT/PT providers
  • Extended time exams
Postsecondary accommodations are intended to mitigate the impact of disability based on eligibility to ensure access, such as:
  • Note taker
  • Extended time exams
  • Separate exam location
  • Assistive technology
  • Alternate textbook formats
Personal aide services are arranged and provided by school district College is not responsible for personal aide services
Teachers and Parents remind student to complete homework, help in exam preparation and time management Student independently plans homework and creates reading and study schedules
High school provides a highly regimented, closely-monitored schedule with homework assigned at regular intervals College schedule has more free, unstructured time; classes meet less frequently, more difficult homework and heavy reading load
Parents communicate routinely with teachers, and can easily monitor student academic progress Parents have no contact with instructors, and written consent is required to access student progress
Parents and teachers guide and intervene on student’s behalf, recommending strategies and supports Student needs to self-advocate, articulate their needs for services and accommodations proactively, and pursue resources on campus for assistance

Attribution: The Advocacy Consortium and Learning Disabilities Association of America