Postsecondary Schools

College and Beyond

Section 504 applies to all entities receiving federal financial assistance. Most public universities receive federal funds from the U.S. Department of Education. Therefore, Section 504 applies to most public colleges and universities.

Colleges and universities may not decline admission based on the presence of a disability. Upon admission, Section 504 protects from discrimination in all areas of programming by the college or university including extracurricular activities, academic programs, off-campus school-sponsored activities and athletics.

In order to determine what accommodations and supports are available, parents and students should contact the school’s services for students with disabilities department. While the available accommodations may be more limited and less individualized for students pursuing postsecondary education, support should be available to provide that all students with a disability have an equal opportunity to participate in the programming that is offered.

Areas of consideration for accommodation:

  • Housing requirements (bathroom accessibility, privacy, etc.)
  • Meal plan requirements
  • Testing
  • Homework
  • Assignment length
  • Class scheduling (may include registration policy exceptions)
  • Note-taking/in-class accessibility

Modifications and accommodations may be denied if the result would be a fundamental change in the program. Additionally, students are not responsible for any costs associated with accepted accommodations.

It is essential that students who are pursuing postsecondary education understand the importance of self-advocacy. Once a child is 18, he or she assumes legal responsibility for educational decisions. Ultimately, a student will need to self-advocate in order to identify policies and practices which may require modification to ensure equal participation as that of nondisabled students.

See this sample 504 planning document for more information.

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Authored by Jennifer Cardenas, The Right to Learn, ©2012, The American Partnership for Eosinophilic Disorders.

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