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TransitiontoCollege - Transition to College Strategic...

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ransition is one of the many areas that the reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA 2004) impacts. Originally passed in 1975, IDEA is the federal special education law that guides policy at the state and local level. Congress reauthorized IDEA on December 3, 2004 and the final regulations are expected in fall 2006. Congress made substantial changes to the law to increase opportunities for more students to graduate with a regular diploma and then make the successful transition to college. For students with learning disabilities (LD) who want to go to college, it is imperative that strategic planning take place as early as possible. This brief can help you understand the requirements and opportunities included in the law so that you can successfully plan and help your child prepare for his or her future. Planning for the Future Making plans for the future and knowing where you’re going allows you to design the steps that will take you to your destination. As a parent, it is important to encourage your child to learn what he or she needs to know about college in order to plan a successful transition. Despite its forward-looking purpose, IDEA has no jurisdiction after a student exits the K-12 school system. Colleges and universities work under a diff erent set of rules – the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 Subpart E of the Rehabilitation Act. The primary purpose of IDEA is “to ensure that all children with disabilities have available to them a free appropriate public education that emphasizes special education and related services designed to meet their unique needs and prepare them for further education , employment, and independent living” [20 USC 33 § 1400 d 1 (A)] T 1 Transition to College: Strategic Planning to Ensure Success for Students with Learning Disabilities National Center for Learning Disabilities www.LD.org Transition to College: Strategic Planning to Ensure Success for Students With Learning Disabilities
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2 Transition to College: Strategic Planning to Ensure Success for Students with Learning Disabilities National Center for Learning Disabilities www.LD.org Did you Know? 23% of students with LD participate in a 2-yr college (Source: NLTS2,2005) 11% of students with LD participate in a 4-yr college (Source: NLTS2,2005) 38.7% of students with learning disabilities drop out of high school. (Source: 25 th Annual Report to Congress, U.S. Department of Education) The Process Is Different One important diff erence when comparing IDEA to the ADA and Section 504 is that IDEA has more procedural requirements. For example, IDEA regulations establish timelines for student evaluations, specify who must participate, and outline the dispute resolution process in a way that shapes state, district and school rules. The ADA and Section 504 do not. This means that there is more variation in how the rules are implemented from college to college because these laws are less prescriptive and do not dictate any one way to be implemented. Because each college establishes its own procedures based on
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