university building
Postsecondary Education
U.S. Department of Education and the Office for Civil Rights produced a pamphlet which provides information on the rights and responsibilities of students with disabilities who plan to attend a postsecondary institution. This pamphlet also explains the obligations of postsecondary schools to provide academic adjustments to ensure that they do not discriminate on the basis of disability. This pamphlet was originally produced in 2002, but has undergone several revisions since then.  The most recent revision was September, 2011.  
Read the pamphlet by clicking the link above or order a copy by:
Phone: 1-877-433-7827 (1-877-4-EDPUBS)
TTY: 1-877-576-7734
Alternate format: 202-260-0852 or TDD 1-800-877-8339
This guide provides information including specific sections on sexual discrimination, violence, Title IX, transgender student rights, disabled student rights, student civil rights and many more. Each section has additional advice for what to do if any of these rights are violated. There is also a section covering common questions students might have. 


Higher Education Opportunity Act

Public Law 110-315 August 14, 2008

Subpart 2 - Transition Programs for Students with Intellectual Disabilities into Higher Education

Sec. 767 Provided funds to institutions of higher education to establish model comprehensive transition and postsecondary programs for students with intellectual disabilities that:

  • Included supports and services for the academic and social inclusion of these students in academic courses and extracurricular activities
  • Focused on academic enrichment, socialization, independent living skills including self-advocacy and integrated work experiences and career skills that lead to gainful employment
  • Integrated person-centered planning in the development of these courses
  • Partnered with local educational agencies under IDEA
  • Planned for the sustainability of these model programs
  • Created a meaningful credential for students with intellectual disabilities upon completion

Subpart 3 - Commission on Accessible Materials; Programs to Support Improved Access to Materials

Sec. 772

This law also established an Advisory Commission on Accessible Instructional Materials in Postsecondary Education for Students with Disabilities to conduct a study to:

  • Assess the barriers and issues that may affect and the technical solutions that may improve the timely delivery and quality of accessible instructional materials for postsecondary students with print disabilities.
  • Make recommendations regarding an approach to improve access to instructional materials in specialized formats in a timeframe comparable to the availability of instructional materials to non-disabled students.

Sec. 773

It also provided support for model demonstration programs that encouraged the development of systems to improve the quality of postsecondary instructional materials in specialized formats and the timely delivery of such materials, including systems to improve efficiency and reduce duplicative efforts across multiple institutions of higher education.  

Subpart 4, Sec 777 National Technical Assistance Center; Coordinating Center

The law provided grant funds for a National Technical Assistance Center with the purpose of providing information and technical assistance to students with disabilities and their families including:

  • Planning information while in secondary school
  • Information and technical assistance for IEP teams working with students in transition
  • Research-based supports, services and accommodations which are available in postsecondary settings
  • Information on student mentoring and networking opportunities
  • Effective recruitment and transition programs at postsecondary institutions

This section also included assistance to higher ed institutions:

  • Collection and dissemination of best and promising practices and materials for accommodations and support of students with disabilities
  • Development and provision of training modules for higher ed faculty on exemplary practices for accommodations and supports of students with disabilities
  • Development of technology-based tutorials for higher ed faculty and staff on best and promising practices related to support and retention of students with disabilities


National Secondary Transition Technical Assistance Center (NSTTAC)

"NSTTAC provides technical assistance (TA) and disseminates information to State Education Agencies, Local Education Authorities, schools, and other stakeholders to (a) implement and scale up evidence-based practices leading to improved academic and functional achievement for students with disabilities, preparing them for college or other postsecondary education and training and the workforce; (b) implement policies, procedures, and practices to facilitate and increase participation of students with disabilities in programs and initiatives designed to ensure college- and career-readiness; and (c) achieve 100% compliance with IDEA, Part B Indicator 13."

National Center on Secondary Education and Transition (NCSET)

"NCSET provides technical assistance and disseminates information focused on four major areas of national significance for youth with disabilities and their families —

  • Providing students with disabilities with improved access and success in the secondary education curriculum.
  • Ensuring that students achieve positive postschool results in accessing postsecondary education, meaningful employment, independent living and participation in all aspects of community life.
  • Supporting student and family participation in educational and postschool decision making and planning.
  • Improving collaboration and system linkages at all levels through the development of broad-based partnerships and networks at the national, state, and local levels."


College Support for Students with Disabilities
Here you will find information for a variety of disabilities with regard to student services, advocacy, campus accessibility and academic support.  Legal rights as supported by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the ADA, are presented. Ideas regarding transitioning to student life are explored.  There are also sections which specifically address the following:

Speech Disorder Resources for College Students
This guide explains the resources that students with a wide variety of speech, language and communication disorders may find on campus and how to find them.  

Winning in College: A Guide for Students with Disabilities
This in-depth guide includes transitioning into college, rights of students with disabilities, disability documentation, scholarships, how to choose the right school and other resources for students with disabilities.

Students with Disabilities: 2017 Resource Guide
This resouce guide includes valuable information on the rights of college students with disabilities, (Section 504 of the Rehab Act of 1973, and the ADA), considerations as you are completing a college search, release of information and documenting your disability, the disabilities that qualify under law (visual, hearing, chronic health, mobility impairments, cognitive, ADD/ADHD, learning and psychological), things to look for when visiting (housing, accessibility, course modifications, time allowances, exam modification/assistance, priority registration, sign language interpreters, tape recording, note takers/computer aids), and reasonable accommodations. Reference is given to online and distance learning as well as financial aid and scholarships, and assistive technology.