Federal Grant Aims to Help Individuals with Disability Access Higher Education

 July 23, 2015
Posted by M&LAdmin4

Thursday, July 23rd, 2015

Over the last few decades in the United States, disability advocates have been working tirelessly to protect and advance the rights of individuals with disabilities. Two examples of this work include 1973’s Rehabilitation Act, which states, “No otherwise qualified handicapped individual in the United States, shall, solely by reason of his [sic] handicap, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance”, a landmard piece of legislature, and the first civil rights law for individuals with disability.
In fact, the Rehabililtation Act, alongside the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, are two civil rights law that protect a very important right for Americans with disabilities: the right to education. Depiste these two laws, however individuals with disabilities still face barriers when it comes to accessing higher education. It is no secret that physical inaccessibility, a lack of access to financing and/or funding, negative stereotypical attitudes towards individuals with disabilities, and delayed accommodation processes often mean that many individuals with disabilities miss out on the opportunities afforded to those who can pursue college or university.

Recently, however, the federal government announced a grant that may go a long way towards helping individuals with disabilities overcome these barriers. According to a recent announcement in the federal registrar, funds are being made available for the development of a National Center for Information and Technical Support for Postsecondary Students with Disabilities. Intrigued? Read on for more information.
Helping Ensure the Educational Rights of Individuals with Disability
Last month (June 19th, to be exact), the Education Department published a notice, calling for “Application for New Awards; National Center for Information and Technical Support for Postsecondary Students With Disabilities” in the federal registrar. According to the notice, the department is providing a grant – to the tune of a whopping 2.475 million – with the purpose of funding a center that can “provide technical assistance and information on best and promising practices for students with disabilities as they transition to or attend postsecondary education.” The notice also states that this center can provide technical assistance and information that will help students, parents, and educational officials in determining how to meet these obligations and ensure the rights of students with disabilities.
As written above, the educational rights of students with disabilities are protected under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the ADA. Institutions of higher educations have legal obligations to students with disability, however these obligations are not the same as those awarded to elementary and high school students as outlined under Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). As written in the notice, the center – once up and running – can help parents and students understand that the rights of secondary students and the protected rights of post-secondary students are not the same; the center can help these parents and students understand these rights and ensure that they are protected as they pursue higher education opportunities. The center will also support colleges and universities as they ensure that the rights of students with disability are protected.

The closing date for the application is marked as August 3rd, of 2015. An electronic application package can be accessed by following this link; if you would like more information, or to read the notice in full, please visit the registrar’s website.

Would You Like More Information?

Here at M&L, we pride ourselves on staying up to date with the latest news in the disabilitiy community. This includes staying on top of new and changing legislation, government regulations, and departmental policy. If you are also interested in staying on top of disability news, please subscribe to our weekly blog; this can be done by entering your email in the Subscribe box on the right hand side of our webpage. To read our already published blog, please check out our blog archive – you can sort by category by accessing the drop down menu titled “Blog Categories”, also on the right hand side of the website.

If you have any questions on this topic in particular, or any topic related to special needs financial and/or life planning, please let us know – we love to hear from our readers. We may also be persuaded to publish a blog on a topic of your choosing, if asked nicely!

Thanks for taking the time to drop by – hope to see you next week!

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