High School versus Postsecondary

Differences between High School and Post-Secondary




Services provided under IDEA or Section 504

Services provided under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and The Americans with Disabilities Act


  • School district responsible for identifying, evaluating, and planning educational interventions
  • Students are responsible for self-identification, providing documentation, and obtaining disability services
  • Involve parents or guardians
  • Deal directly with student (18+ yrs.old); protect student’s right to privacy (FERPA)
  • Provide non-academic services
  • Provide access to any service, program, or activity sponsored by the institution
  • Modify educational programs or requirements
  • Provide accommodations in order to meet established standards/requirements
  • Prepare IEPs, 504 Plans
  • Provide reasonable accommodations based on documentation upon student request



  • Legal mandate


  • Civil rights, non-discrimination


  • Foster success


  • Equal access


  • IDEA is to provide a free and appropriate public education (FAPE) in the least restrictive environment to eligible students with disabilities, including special education and related services. 504/ADA are to ensure that no otherwise qualified person with a disability is denied access to, benefits of, or is subjected to discrimination in any program or activity provided by any public institution or entity.


  • 504/ADA ensure that no otherwise qualified person with a disability will be denied access to, the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination by any program or activity provided by any public institution or entity.


  • All infants, children and youth requiring special education services until age 21 or graduation from high school are covered. A list of disabilities is provided in IDEA, and includes specific learning disabilities.


  • All qualified persons with disabilities who meet the entry criteria, or particular program criteria of the college and who can document the existence of a disability as defined by the ADA, are covered.


  • Disability is defined as "Any physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities; having a record of such an impairment; or being regarded as having an impairment."


Students must be "otherwise qualified". Someone is considered to be "otherwise qualified" if, with or without reasonable accommodation, they meet the same standards -- academic, professional, technical, and behavioral standards -- as do others. It means meeting established criteria (e.g. admissions, course expectations, graduation, code of conduct).

For more information or comments:
ACE Disability Services
(405) 491-6694
(405) 717-6286 Fax