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IDEA and College

It is important for students with IEPs transitioning to college and their parents to remember that IDEA is in effect only in grades K-12. Colleges have no legal responsibility to identify students with disabilities. Further, colleges are not required to involve parents in decision making related to their student’s educational accommodations. Instead, students with disabilities are responsible for working with the school’s Office of Disability Services to obtain educational accommodations.

Parents and students may be surprised to learn that there are no IEPs in college. However, under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504) and the American with Disabilities Act (ADA), students with disabilities, including students with CIs, may still receive educational accommodations to access their education, such as an FM system or extended time to take tests.

To prepare to self-advocate in college, students with IEPs in high school should participate in IEP meetings and update their IEP during their senior year. Doing so will help students articulate their needs and provide documentation of their disability and types of accommodations that meet that will help them succeed.