Differences Between School and College - Accessibility Services - Defiance College

Differences Between High School and College

Accessibility Services


Differences between high school and college for students with disabilities.


Secondary School

Education is a right under IDEA and must be provided in an appropriate environment to all individuals.

School district is responsible to identify a student’s disability

School district provides free testing, evaluation, and transportation to program

Transition planning and timelines exist to clarify students’ vision, identify programming choices and coordinate appropriate coursework options

School district develop IEP to define educational supports and services under special education

No IEP/Special Education in college

Access to general curriculum, necessary modifications, and a variety of appropriate accommodations are available

Personal services for medical or physical disability are required

School year is September to June

Main office exists as the center of activity for school

Rigid schedule with constant supervision

Classes meet daily

Attendance is taken

Guidance counselors or other staff schedule support services for students

Someone is available to help plan study time (teachers, SPED, parents)

Classes generally held in one building

Average class is 35-45 minutes

Daily contact with teachers and support staff

School responds to parent concerns; parent permission required (until 18 years)

Student generally live at home


Higher Education

Education is not a right. Students must meet admission criteria defined under ADA as “otherwise qualified”

Students must self–identify

Student must provide current and appropriate documentation as defined by the college; if documentation from high school is not adequate, student pays for additional testing

Students make all coursework selections

No IEP/Special Education in college

Student is responsible to self –identify and self-disclose and must work with their Disability Services office to determine eligibility and appropriate accommodations

No fundamental alterations to the curriculum are made; academic accommodations are provided to students with documented disabilities as defined by ADA

No personal services are required
(No personal care assistance provided)

School year is August- December,

Students are responsible to know where to locate information, assistance, study support

Greater flexibility of scheduling

Classes meet weekly not daily

Attendance policies are at discretion of instructor

Students connect with disability services staff to arrange support services (Accessibility services located in Career Development Office in Hubbard Hall)

Student responsible for setting and following through on all scheduling and study time

Classes are held at many different sites

Class times vary from 50 min. – 4 hours

Classes meet less frequently, impacting access to instructors and assistance

Student is an adult with all decision making authority; Parental contact is not permissible without a signed (FERPA)

Students are responsible for housing, transportation, finances, etc.


Adopted from University of Toledo June 10, 2010