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Accessibility Services in High School vs. College

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accessibility services @ college

Law book

HS = Individuals with Disabilities Education Act & Free & Appropriate Public Education

College = 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 & Americans with Disabilities Act


HS: covers students from birth to 21, or when a HS diploma is attained

College: Covers students regardless of age


In high school, student receive special education based on individual needs.

In college, formal special education services are not available.


In high school, behavior can be viewed as a manifestation of the disability

In college, students must meet educational, behavioral, and other standards.

In high school, the special ed teacher communicates with the teacher about accommodations.

In college, students must request accommodations and confer with professors.


In high school, the environment is adjusted to meet the students' needs.

In college, the student must adjust to the environment.

In high school, services may include individually designed instruction, curriculum modifications, & accommodations based on the IEP.

In college, only reasonable accommodations are available.


In high school, case managers act as the student's advocate.

At college, the student is their own advocate.

Make sure you voice your concerns and ask for help!

at SMSU You can seek out services in the Disability Services Office (BA239)

In high school, services are delivered to the student.


In college, students must seek out services.

If you’re not sure if DS can be a resource for you, just ask!


High school is mandatory and free.

College is voluntary and costly.






In high school, the school provides personal care, PT, etc. while the student is in school.

In college, students are responsible for their own personal & medical care.

We can provide PCA contact info in Disability Services!


In high school, modifications that change course, rigor, volume, or outcomes may be offered based on an IEP.

In college, modifications that change rigor, volume, or outcomes will not be offered. Students must meet course expectations.

Confidentiality & Documentation

In high school, the school informs parents of the student's progress & there are regular meetings.

In college, the school cannot communicate with parents without the student's permission & students monitor their own progress.

If you want your parents to be in the loop, let us know in Disability Services and will get you the appropriate forms!


In high school, schools are required to identify students with disabilities.

In college, students must reveal their own disability and provide documentation.

Wondering what kind of documentation you will need? See Pam in DS (BA 246)!

Common Accommodations At SMSU

adaptive technology

peer notetakers

test proctoring for reduced distraction

alternate texts

SMSU Disability Services
Office Phone: 507-537-6492
Fax: 507-537-6812

Disability Services

Last Modified: 1/12/23 5:27 PM | Website Feedback