Disability Services

ADA/Section 504 vs I.D.E.A.




A.D.A./Section 504 

Type of Statute 

Provides funding to states to ensure provision of free appropriate public education for children with disabilities

Civil Rights statute protecting persons with disabilities from discrimination

Main Provisions 

Establishes procedural safeguards and the right to free appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment

Because of a disability, a qualified person can't be: excluded from participation in, denied benefits of or be subject to discrimination by any service, program or activity

Who is Protected 

Children falling into the 13 categories listed in the IDEA and requiring special educational services to benefit from an education

Any person with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity

Extent of Obligation 

Free appropriate public education ensuring a meaningful benefit from education

Equivalent access to educational and extracurricular programs

Delivery Method 

Individualized Education Plan (IEP)

No formal plan. Worked out on a case-by-case basis with the institution's Disabled Student Services Office

Services Available 

·  Supplemental Aides and Services

·  Occupational Therapy

·  Speech and Language Therapy

·  Notetakers

·  Counseling

·  Tutoring

·  Resource Room

·  Paraprofessional Aides

·  Testing Modifications

·  Adaptive Equipment

·  Reasonable Accommodations and Academic Adjustments

·  Interpreters

·  Notetakers

·  Testing Modifications

·  Priority Registration

·  Real Time Reporting

Note: Counseling, tutoring and personal aides are NOT required by 504 

Student's Responsibility 

Do one's best

·  Disclose disability

·  Provide documentation

·  Facilitate the provision of reasonable accommodations

·  Show up to class

·  Use accommodations appropriately

·  Speak up if trouble arises

·  There is no statuary mechanism requiring parental involvement and such involvement is discouraged in college


Due Process: (1) impartial hearing; (2) state review (appeal); then (3) federal court

Internal grievance procedure and/or complaint to the Office of Civil Rights and/or go directly to federal courts


Federal funds to states to support special education programs

No funding attached. Costs are incurred by the institution


Administrative due process procedures as outlined in state education law

Internal grievance or Office of Civil Rights


If it's not on the IEP you won't receive it

·  Accommodations must be reasonable

·  As circumstances warrant, accommodations may change over time

·  There is no "plan" to be set up and trial and error may be a necessary part of the process

·  Colleges are not required to "fundamentally alter" their programs or incur "undue hardship." 

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