Feds announce new grant to support postsecondary students

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DOE announces new funding

In a notice published in the Federal Register last month, the U.S. Department of Education announced funding for a new center for assisting students with disabilities with understanding their legal rights at the college levels.

At the grade school levels, students have extensive protections under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, which, among other things, requires schools to affirmatively provide accommodations for students with disabilities.

At the college level, however, students are not protected by the IDEA and thus have the burden of requesting accommodations, similar to employees in the workforce. However, they still have a variety of protections under the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.

Understanding and education the public about these nuances and distinctions is central to the mission of the new National Center for Information and Technical Support for Postsecondary Students With Disabilities.

As detailed in the notice, the DOE will provide grants to higher education institutions and non-profits that will assist it with furthering the Center’s purposes. The application period is open until August 3.

The DOE’s Office of Civil Rights has previously published two pamphlets on the legal rights of college students with disabilities, which can be viewed here and here.