High School College
The applicable law is the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act or IDEA The applicable law is the Americans with Disabilities Act or the ADA and Section 504 and 508 of the Rehabilitation Act
IDEA is about success The ADA is about access
Fundamental modifications of programs and curricula are required No fundamental modifications - only accommodations
Education is a right and must be provided in an appropriate environment to all individuals Education is not a right - students must meet certain admission criteria
The school district is responsible for identifying a student's disability Students must self-identify
The school district develops Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) to define educational services Students must identify needs and request services - no IEP exists and is not always sufficient documentation
The school district provides free evaluations The student must obtain evaluations at own expense
Student is supported by parents and teachers Student is responsible for seeking assistance from the Disability Services Office
Primary responsibility for arranging modifications belongs to the school Primary responsibility for self-advocacy and arranging accommodations belongs to the student (who may seek assistance from Disability Services)
Personal services for medical and physical disabilities are required (i.e., Personal Care Attendant) No personal services are required - however, the Disability Services Office may assist the student in advertising for such services
Parent has access to student records and can participate in the IEP process Parent does not have access to student records without student's written consent
Parent advocates for student Student must advocate for self
School year runs from September - June School year is divided into 2 semesters: from September to December and from January to May
Classes meet daily Classes meet 1,2,3, or 4 times a week
Classes are generally held in the same building Classes are held in many different sites on campus
The average length of a class is 35-45 minutes Classes vary in length from 50 min to 3 hours
Daily contact with teachers Classes meet less frequently which will impact on access to instructors and assistance
The student needs the parent's permission in most instances The student is an adult and parent permission is not required
Guidance counselors or other staff schedule support services for students The student must make arrangements for support services
A main office exists as the center of activity for the building The student is responsible for knowing where to go to obtain information and assistance
Classes consist of about 30 students Classes may consist of about 20 - 100 students
Teachers often take time to remind students of assignments and due dates Professors expect students to read, save and consult the course syllabus (outline); this tells the student exactly what is expected of him/her, when it is due and how it will be graded

Adapted from Institute for Community Inclusion; modified for application by MacMurray College, 2012