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High School vs. College 


Secondary education​ Post-secondary Education

What is the law?​

IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act)​ Sec. 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973; ADAAA (Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008)​
​What is the intent of the law? Free appropriate education for all students with disabilities in the least restrictive environment.​ Ensures that no otherwise qualified person is discriminated against in federally funded programs​.
​Who is covered under the law? All infants, children and youth requiring special education until age 21 or graduation from high school.​ All qualified persons who meet entry criteria of the college and can document a disability as defined by ADA.​
What is a disability?​ IDEA provides a list of disabilities and includes specific learning disability.​ Any physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.​

Who is responsible for identifying and documenting need?​

School districts are responsible for identifying, evaluating students, and planning educational programs.​ Students are responsible for self-identifying to the college and providing documentation of their disability.​

Who is responsible for initiating service delivery?​

School districts are responsible for providing special instruction, individualized instruction plans, and/or accommodations.​ Students are responsible for requesting disability services and/or accommodations. These are provided at no cost to the individual or family.​

What related services are mandated?​

School districts must provide rehabilitation counseling, medical services, personal aides, social work and other services as needed in the school day.​ Colleges provide physical, academic, and program access. Related services of a personal nature are the responsibility of the individual or family.​
What about self-advocacy?​ The parent or guardian is the primary advocate. Students learn about their disability, the accommodations they need, and ways to become a self-advocate.​ Students are expected to be their own advocates.​

Who is responsible for enforcing the law?​

IDEA is basically a funding statute, enforced by the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services in the U.S. Department of Education.​ ADA/504 are civil right statutes, enforced by the Office for Civil Rights (OCR), the Department of Justice, and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).​


Contact Information

For more information contact DSS Office by phone (850) 201-8430 or e-mail

8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Mon - Fri

Student Union, Room 172

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