Students who receive special education services, including those with cognitive and intellectual disabilities, are attending college in record numbers, an achievement that few people would have thought possible before the passage of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) in 1975. As we approach the 40th anniversary of IDEA, we can reflect not only on the impact that it has had on individual lives but the benefits to society that come from having a workforce of students who are college and career ready. IDEA provides supports to students who now attend elementary through high school with their siblings and same age peers with the expectation that they will continue to do so in post-secondary settings. Four-year colleges, community colleges, and career and technical education centers have risen to the challenge by providing supports and accommodations so that students can not only attend, but thrive in post-secondary settings. Learn what attending college means to these students and watch the four minute trailer, below, for Think College’s full 27-minute movie, Rethinking College.
All students rely on lessons learned in the classroom to prepare for their transition to adulthood, whether that means entering the workforce or continuing their studies in college or at a vocational school. Thanks to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, children with disabilities today have greater access to quality education and accommodations to help them learn and succeed in and out of school.
Contributing to this success is Disability.gov, the federal government website for information on disability programs and services across the nation. Through the site, students with disabilities, parents, guardians, educators and others are connected to valuable resources on education, such as accommodations and supports in the classroom, individualized education programs (IEPs) and teaching strategies. Furthermore, since Disability.gov is a directory of resources, visitors can find information on other topics like benefits, employment, health, housing and technology, to name just a few. All of the site’s resources are carefully chosen from the federal government, state and local government agencies and nonprofit organizations to make sure visitors get information that is both helpful and easy to understand.