By Judy York, Director
Resource Office on Disabilities
Yale University

Planning for college can trigger a spectrum of emotions from excitement to fear or for some, just “more of the same.” The point to be made is that college will be different from high school and different in a number of ways. Parents and their sons and daughters do not always realize that the law that governs the special accommodations provided in high school (IDEA) does not continue to represent the college student. There are no more IEP’s (Individual Education Plans) and 504 plans. Where the high school informed all instructors of the student’s disability and required accommodations, the college, while providing accommodations, seeks to protect the student’s profile and does not reveal the disability unless accommodations are required and in those circumstances, only reveals the needed accommodation, not the disability. In other words, those that “need to know” are minimized in college and without the student’s written consent, the college cannot specify the disability to instructors.

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