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Academic Accommodations for Dual Credit High School Students with Disabilities

Published or Revised May 18, 2018

Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA) and section 504: civil rights laws prohibiting discrimination solely on basis of disability. “No otherwise qualified individual with a disability in the United States….shall, solely by reason of her or his disability, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance….” The term “otherwise qualified individual with a disability” at the post-secondary level carries different connotation, places greater weight and responsibility on the part of the individual. It ultimately refers to a student’s academic proficiency and ability to demonstrate learning. Post-secondary institutions must provide reasonable accommodations to allow students an equal opportunity (equal access) to participate in courses, programs, and activities. Colleges and universities do not have to provide accommodations that would “fundamentally alter” or modify the educational program or academic requirements essential to the program of study. Dual Credit High School courses (college) are only covered by 504/ADAAA. Participation is considered a choice on the part of the student where IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) requirements concerning FAPE (Free Appropriate Public Education) do not apply. Requirements under IDEA do not apply to the post-secondary level, but because the student is still considered a HS student, and is continuing to earn high school credit, IEP services could be provided as long as these academic accommodations do not alter the essential requirements of the class and the academic rigor. In addressing this unique situation where both laws apply to one course, the appropriateness on any particular accommodation will be determined on an individualized basis for each student in each course.
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