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Adaptive Services




Disability Rights and Responsibilities

High School vs Higher Education

Disability rights and responsibilities differ depending on the type of coverage that is received.  The K-12 system is covered under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) while higher education is covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  Even though both are covered under the blanket of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, each law is specific to the rights and responsibilities of those with a disability.  The below is a general comparison of the two laws and what a student with a disability entering FGCU should expect regarding their rights and responsibilities.




Ensures free and appropriate public education for children with disabilities



Protects Individuals with disabilities from discrimination by providing equivalent access to programs and services




Children in the K-12 system whose education is negatively impacted by the disability. There are specific disabilities covered, so not all students with disabilities will be protected



Any person with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities



 Initiating Services



Parents and teachers identify students needing assistance through consent for evaluation and Child Find





Students must self-identify as an individual needing assistance due to a disabilty by supplying the appropriate documentation from a qualified evaluator






School districts are responsible for providing the means for a student to be evaluated



The student assumes the cost of the documentation


 Education Plans


Individual Education Plans (IEP's) are developed and tracked through the student's educational process


Reasonable accommodations are provided on a case-by-case basis


Enforcement of Laws


A funding statute, enforced by the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services in the US Department of Education



A Civil Rights statute enforced by the Office of Civil Rights, US Department of Education, US Department of Justice and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission