STEP Additional Transition Resources
EDUCATION FOR STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES
Important Laws and Terms to Know
Civil Rights Breakdown:
Following the passage of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the enforcement of Section 504, entities that received federal funding were barred from discriminating against disabled people in education or employment. This includes public schools. Building on this is the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). All three laws impact access and accommodation for students with disabilities. This document breaks down how: https://adata.org/factsheet/disability-rights- laws-public-primary-and-secondary-education-how-do- they-relate
This resource compares, and contrasts, the different civil rights laws that cover primary, secondary, and post-secondary education in the United States.
Reasonable accommodations in education are modifications or adjustments to the classroom setting, school program, activity, or other services that allow a student that has a disability to have equal opportunity to access and use benefits, privileges, and services that are available to students without disabilities in a given setting. Reasonable accommodations are covered under the ADA and Section 504.
FAPE stands for Free Appropriate Public Education and is covered by IDEA. Under FAPE public primary and secondary education institutions must provide a public education experience in the least restrictive environment that meets the student's educational level and needs.
504 vs. IDEA. Both are great, but they affect your child’s education in different ways. Know the differences and why it matters:
In colleges and universities, the responsibility of notifying the school that a student has a disability is the responsibility of the student (Under IDEA, the school is supposed to identify students who have disabilities). Further, it is the responsibility of the student to inform instructors of an accommodation that a student has. This differs from primary and secondary education where teachers are informed through an IEP or 504 plan that is given to them at the beginning of the school year that details a student's academic, social, and behavioral accommodations. This source below from the Department of Education/Office of Civil Rights should be helpful in explaining:
College can be a scary transition. This resource from Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) is here to help: http://www.going-to-college.org/
Various organizations aim to increase employment opportunities for adults who have disabilities. In Alabama, the primary entity is the Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services (ADRS). We have provided links to pertinent websites. Please note that this list is not exhaustive.
The Job Accommodations Network (JAN) provides FREE information, resources, and consultation for employees and employers concerning job accommodations and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Employer Assistance & Recruiting Network (EARN)
Funded by the Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) and the Department of Labor, EARN is a free service that connects employers looking for quality employees with skilled job candidates. In addition, EARN assists employers in understanding the practical business reasons for, as well as the practices that facilitate the recruitment and hiring of people with disabilities. EARN also offers assistance to employment service providers and jobseekers with disabilities. This includes providing jobseekers and service providers with job leads from employers specifically interested in including jobseekers with disabilities in their recruiting efforts. There is a special section for hiring veterans.
Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP)
ODEP provides national leadership to increase employment opportunities for adults and youth with disabilities while striving to eliminate barriers to employment. With the goal of increasing the number of people with disabilities who work, either as employees or entrepreneurs, ODEP provides policy analysis, technical assistance, development of innovative practices and strategies, and education and outreach to employers, employees, and the disability community. Related to these efforts, ODEP also conducts a variety of employment-related programs and initiatives.
Equal Opportunity Employment Commission (EEOC)
EEOC enforces federal civil rights laws regarding job discrimination. EEOC also provides oversight and coordination of all federal equal employment opportunity regulations, practices, and policies. In addition to litigation, the EEOC provides public education on diversity and job discrimination; publications for employers, employees, and agencies; and offers research and statistics in employment and enforcement of nondiscrimination policies.
The O*NET program is the nation's primary source of occupational information. Central to the project is the O*NET database, containing information on hundreds of standardized and occupation-specific descriptors. The database, which is free to use, is continually updated by surveying a broad range of workers from each occupation. Information from this database forms the heart of O*NET OnLine, an interactive application for exploring and searching occupations. The database also provides the basis for
O*NET’s Career Exploration Tools, a set of valuable assessment instruments for workers and students looking to find or change careers.