Northwest College

Disability Support Services

Difference Between High School and College



Under IDEA, Students with disabilities are entitled to a “Free and Appropriate Public Education”.

College students with disabilities have equal access to a college’s educational programs and physical facilities. Students with disabilities are not entitled to a college education but do have civil rights as college students.

Section 504 in public schools includes “Free and appropriate public accommodations” and these accommodations may include the shortening of assignments or the use of notes on tests when other students cannot.

Section 504 is civil rights legislation. It states that the college is not required to change the standards or demands of its courses if it would compromise the integrity of the course. Shortening or waiving assignments or allowing notes/other materials when testing would be considered unreasonable accommodations.

Plans, either IEP’s or 504’s, they list all services and accommodations; all teachers, counselors and parents are involved.

An individual accommodation plan is developed by disability services and students with disabilities. Students are adults; there is no contact with parents. Students must sign a Consent to Disclose if information is to be shared between parents and college staff. The student determines what material may be released and to whom.

Students are qualified for public education by being the appropriate age and because they have a disability.

Students with disabilities must be “otherwise qualified” which means that students meet all entrance and academic requirements and technical standards to include competitive programs.

Staff members at the school know about students’ disabilities in advance; their teachers would know about the students before classes start.

Once a student agrees to an accommodation plan, it is automatically sent to instructors each term. Disability Services does interact with faculty on a student’s behalf at times. Students are encouraged to advocate for themselves when requesting agreed-upon accommodations.

It is the school’s responsibility to identify students with disabilities, and it is the school’s responsibility to access students’ disabilities and provide appropriate accommodations.

To receive reasonable accommodations, students with disabilities must request disability services and must provide current documentation of their disabilities.

Students may receive “un-timed” tests if they have a disability.

Un-timed tests are considered unreasonable accommodations. Extended testing time, such as time and a half or double time, is allowed.

Teachers are expected to learn all they can about the disabilities of students in their classes.

Instructors only know which accommodations their students with disabilities require in their classes. They are not made aware of the specific disabilities.