The ADA is a federal civil rights law designed to provide equal opportunity for people with disabilities. While legislation for K-12 persons with disabilities is
focused on student success, the ADA, as it applies to the college environment, is focused on making sure that students with disabilities
have access to the various programs, services and activities of the university. That is not to say that colleges are not interested in student success, and
most provide a wide array of academic support services that are designed to help all students perform at their highest level. It does mean that the federal
laws that may have required certain accommodations in K-12 are different than the ones for colleges and universities.
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is a law that protects students from discrimination based on their disabilities. Subpart D of the act applies to grades K-12, and Subpart E applies to postsecondary institutions. A 504 Plan is developed when a K-12 student needs certain accommodations and modifications to either the physical space in the school or the learning environment. However, a 504 Plan indicates that there is no need for special edu- cation (if there were a need for special education, the student would have been given an IEP as discussed above).
It is very important to understand that IEPs and 504 Plans do not suffice as adequate documentation to accompany a student to a postsecondary institu- tion since both are required under laws that do not apply once the student attends college. Although students are covered under Section 504 once they get to college, it is a different subpart, as noted above. While IEPs and 504 Plans are sometimes helpful to colleges in determining appropriate reasonable accommodations, they are insufficient as the sole forms of documentation of a disability.
Sandefer Memorial 209
HSU Box 16158
Abilene, TX 79698Lindsay.A.Boynton@hsutx.edu
Phone: (325) 670-1157
Fax: (325) 670-5862
Sandefer Memorial 210 Kayla.H.Willis@hsutx.edu
Phone: (325) 670-1194
2200 Hickory, Abilene, TX, 79698
Operator: (325) 670-1000
Campus Police: (325) 670-1461