Parents & Families Frequently Asked Questions
Hopefully the following Frequently Asked Questions outlined below will answer most of your questions:
- Are students obligated to inform institutions that they have a disability?
- What are academic adjustments and auxiliary aids and services?
- My son/daughter has an IEP/504 Plan. Is this good enough for college?
- What should my son/daughter do first to self-disclose and request accommodations?
No, a student has no obligation to inform an institution of postsecondary education that they have a disability. However, if a student is asking the college to provide academic adjustments or accommodations then they must identify themselves as having a disability and follow the College’s Policies and Procedures, regarding submitting appropriate documentation. The disclosure is always voluntary. For example, if a student who has a disability but is not requesting any accommodations, than they do not need to identify nor disclose his or her disability.
Academic accommodations are defined in Section 504 regulations at 34 C.F.R. 104.44(a) as:
Such modifications to the academic requirements as are necessary to ensure that such requirements do not discriminate or have the effect of discriminating, on the basis of disability against a qualified….applicant or student (with a disability). Academic requirements that the recipient can demonstrate are essential to the instruction being pursued by such student or to any directly related licensing requirement will not be regarded as discriminatory within the meaning of this section. Modifications may include changes in the length of time permitted for the completion of degree requirements, substitution of specific courses required for the completion of degree requirements, and adaptation of the manner in which specific courses are conducted.
Academic adjustments or accommodations may also may include such things as extended time on tests and the provision of auxiliary aids and services. They might include things like note takers, recording devices, readers, sign language interpreters, or assistive technology like screen readers to ensure the participation of students with impaired sensory, manual or speaking skills to the college’s programs and services.
Institutions are not required to provide personal devices and services such as attendants, individually prescribed devices, readers for personal use or study, or other services such as special tutoring. In some situations other agencies may provide some of these supports to assist students attending the College.
At times the IEP and/or 504 Plan will suffice for college. However, those were developed to address your child’s needs in K-12. At times, the documentation is sufficient but depending on when the last evaluation was completed and the thoroughness of the testing, it may not be sufficient. An IEP includes so many things that are not considered reasonable at the College level (ie special classes, in-class support, out of district placements, waivers of requirements, reduced homework expectations). The College arena is really very different than the high school one and therefore often requires different information. The College reserves the right to request additional information.
Students are advised to read the College’s Policies and Procedures and make an appointment in Disability Services to discuss their needs and services. For the first appointment students who have been classified by a Child Study Team are encouraged to bring the latest copy of their Psychological Evaluation, Education Evaluation and IEP (12th grade Individualized Education Plan). Students may need to request a copy of these records directly from their Child Study Team. Students are advised to make a copy for their files as well as one to submit to Disability Services. The College will not make copies of documentation. Please come to the appointment with a copy to submit to the office if you are requesting accommodations. If the student has not been classified they are encouraged to bring any relevant documentation that they have access to.