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Education

Access to quality education is a strong predictor of future success affecting work, finances, and independence. A good education can mean the difference between a life of dependence and unemployment and a life of independence and productivity for people with disabilities.

Individuals with disabilities are capable of graduating high school fully prepared to tackle college or a career if they receive proper support along the way.

Practices | Strategies | Tools

Promising Practices

Individuals who enrolled in postsecondary education are more likely to find jobs that pay better wages compared to their peers who did not have any postsecondary education experiences.

Findings show that youth who exit vocational rehabilitation (VR) programs after receiving postsecondary education services reported higher weekly wages compared to their peers who did not receive any postsecondary education services.

Source: Post-Secondary Education and Training Preparation Toolkit from the National Technical Assistance Center on Transition (NTACT).

Following are promising-practices to promote access to secondary education and training opportunities for people with disabilities.

Strategies

All states must provide a free, public education to all students with disabilities until graduation or at least to age 21. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) safeguards both private and government-funded postsecondary programs must be accessible to individuals with disabilities; however, there are no direct services or funding for students with disabilities associated with the ADA.

Source: Post-Secondary Education and Training Preparation Toolkit from the National Technical Assistance Center on Transition (NTACT)

Following are some strategies to help youth and families navigate education programs for people with disabilities.

Education Programs for People with Disabilities

Learn how to find local, state, and federal education programs and financial aid opportunities for people with disabilities.

  • Your state department of education or your local school board are your best resources for telling you about nearby programs and answering questions about state educational rights laws for people with disabilities.
  • An Individualized Education Program (IEP)is a plan developed by a child’s educators and parents to meet that child’s specific educational needs. It’s a foundational part of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), which guarantees a free, appropriate public education to eligible children with disabilities.
  • College-bound students with intellectual disabilities may be eligible for financial aid programs including Pell Grants and Federal Work-Study programs. The Office for Federal Student Aidhas specific information on loans, grants, and scholarships, and how to apply.
  • Contact the school you want to attend for additional information on special programs for people with disabilities.

Education Rights of People with Disabilities

Several federal laws protect the education rights of people with disabilities.

Section 504 and Title II Protect Education Rights

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)

IDEA applies to students in grades K-12.

Students with Disabilities at College or Technical Schools

Students with disabilities preparing to attend college or vocational school have rights and responsibilities.

  • Students must notify their school and document their needs.
  • Schools must provide tools and modifications to help students take part in class. For example, a school may offer course reading material in Braille.
Turn Knowledge into Action

Communication and Engagement Strategies

These suggestions are based on lessons learned by Wisconsin Work Incentive Benefit Specialists.

Turn Knowledge into Action

Training Tips

Tools

Following are some tools and resources related to post-secondary education and training.

Featured Resources

Post-Secondary Education and Training for Youth

Find out more about Pre-ETS requirements. Post-Secondary Education and Training for Youth with Disabilities

Post-Secondary Education and Training Preparation Toolkit

from the National Technical Assistance Center on Transition (NTACT). Download the Post-Secondary Education and Training Preparation Toolkit

State Postsecondary Education Plans and Guides

Related Resources: