Whether your child is interested in a 2- or 4-year college, parents have a huge role to play in finding a college that supports students with disabilities.
What’s My Role?
Parents also need to understand the key differences between educational rights in high school and college – and the legal limits on your rights as a parent once your child turns 18! There is no Special Education at the college level. Educational rights covered by IDEA do not apply to postsecondary education, whether a 2- or 4-year college. College students with disabilities have “civil rights” under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act to accommodations that will help them participate in college classes and activities.
Post-Secondary Education Options
Every child must graduate from high school feeling hopeful about their future and ready for further educational opportunities and the workforce.
- Once your child turns 18, educational rights transfer to them. (Describe IEP transfer if student is still in high school); FERPA
- Once your child is in college, parents have only limited rights to information. Schools may but are not required to, disclose academic information to parents of students who can be claimed as dependents on a federal tax return. Some schools may provide information about health or other emergencies. You should find out what a college’s FERPA policy is when helping your child research colleges.
Selecting The Right College For Your Child
It’s helpful to remember that kids are more than their challenges. College is a good place for them to explore strengths and interests, and to make their own choices based on self-awareness.
Some parents are concerned their child won’t get enough support at college. They may be tempted to look only at schools that offer the most help to kids who learn and think differently.