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(14.11) If my child becomes eligible for special education because of his health condition, will this affect his ability to go to college?

(14.11) If my child becomes eligible for special education because of his health condition, will this affect his ability to go to college?

No. Under Section 504 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) colleges and universities cannot discriminate on the basis of disability by denying admission to a qualified individual.  [42 U.S.C. Sec. 12182(b)(1)(A)(i); 34 C.F.R. Sec. 104.42(a).]  

It is helpful to have an IEP or 504 plan to demonstrate your child’s eligibility under Section 504 at the post-secondary level and to identify services and accommodations he may need.  Make sure your child takes the necessary units in the required subject areas and college preparatory courses, as appropriate, in order to earn a high school diploma.  Your child must also pass any required proficiency test or exit exam.  See Chapter 11, Information on District-Wide Assessments/ Graduation Requirements.  Be sure that your child’s special education identification, program and services do not result in his being placed on a “track” leading to a certificate of completion rather than a diploma.

Beginning at age 16, or earlier, your child’s IEP must include appropriate, measurable post-secondary goals based on age-appropriate transition assessments related to training, education, employment, and independent living skills, where appropriate.  The IEP must also contain a statement of needed transition services that focus on your child’s courses of study (such as participation in advanced-placement courses or a vocational education program).  [Cal. Ed. Code Sec. 56345(a)(8).]  If your child’s post-secondary educational goal is admission to a college or university, the IEP should specify the requirements necessary to earn a diploma and the transition services needed to assist him in reaching that goal.  See Chapter 10, Information on Transition and Vocational Education.